Three years after the end of his career, seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong hopes to finish a cycling race again. On Saturday, August 9, Armstrong will line up in the Leadville Trail 100, a 100-mile mountain bike race through the Rocky Mountains of Colorado.
The Texan has been keeping fit in running marathon races since he retired from racing in 2005. Still, he pointed at last year's winner Dave Wiens for the likely Leadville victory. Wiens won his fifth straight title at the mountain bike race in 2007, beating Floyd Landis by two minutes.
"A race like this takes a lot of experience and endurance. He has that. So, I guess he's the odds-on favourite," Armstrong said to AP on Wednesday. "I would reiterate that I'll be happy if I'm Top 5. I don't think I'm in it to win it, as they say."
The 36 year-old hasn't finished a competitive bike race since winning his seventh straight Tour de France title. In spring, he dropped out of the "Miles of DisComfort" mountain bike race in Texas with nine miles to go before the finish.
The Leadville Trail 100 begins at the old mining town of Leadville with 1,000 participants setting out at 10,500 feet and climbing to a maximum elevation of 12,600 feet. En route, racers tackle 14,000 feet of climbing in total. "I fully expect to get beat up," Armstrong said.
Armstrong's longtime personal coach, Chris Carmichael, is also signed up for Saturday's race and hopes to beat his personal best time of just over nine hours. "I don't know if I can beat Wiens, but I'm 100 percent sure I can beat Carmichael," Armstrong said. "I will be home, showered and probably three beers in by the time Carmichael gets back."