Cycling has changed since Lance Armstrong's retirement in 2005. Having returned to the sport late last year, the American admits that he's finding the pace tough, but there's a feeling he's enjoying the challenge. As he makes the first European racing appearances of his comeback, Armstrong tells Cyclingnews' Gregor Brown about life in the faster lane, Twitter, testing, this year's Giro and the prospect of an eighth Tour de France crown.
Cyclingnews: What are the big differences in the peloton since you retired in 2005?
Lance Armstrong: I am honestly still trying to figure that out. It is tricky for me to figure out so far because Australia has been an anomaly and California is kind of an anomaly.
I can tell you that from Australia and the Tour of California the racing has been fast. I think that's good for racing, good for the sport... You roll around in Australia and all of a sudden you are on the limit, and you say to some guy, 'I thought this was a fun race.' I thought it was one of these races where guys have a beer the night before and then show up and race the next day. The next thing you know, this year we are all in the gutter and suffering on the limit.
I think those guys realise that the races are televised around the world. Every media outlet from the neighbourhood paper all the way up to the international papers were there. There is a lot of added attention and pressure from their sponsors and teams. So the guys came fit and ready to race. That happens, and shit, the thing rolls down the road a lot quicker.
Read the full interview with Lance Armstrong.