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Armstrong to retire after 2011 season

By:
Cycling News
Published:
December 14, 2009, 9:11 GMT,
Updated:
December 14, 2009, 13:33 GMT
Edition:
First Edition Cycling News, Monday, December 14, 2009
Lance Armstrong at his first official RadioShack press conference in Arizona on Tuesday. He said the team will share leadership in 2010.

Lance Armstrong at his first official RadioShack press conference in Arizona on Tuesday. He said the team will share leadership in 2010.

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Supports the idea of a US start to Giro, but says it would be hard on riders

Lance Armstrong hinted that he will quit the sport for a second and final time after the 2011 season. Speaking at the RadioShack team camp, the seven-time Tour de France winner, asked about a potential USA start to the 2012 Giro d'Italia, indicated that it would be unlikely that he would still be racing when and if that happened.

Giro organizer Angelo Zomegnan met with the Washington, DC mayor last week about bringing the race to US shores in 2012. When asked if he might still be racing at that point, Armstrong replied, "Maybe ... well, maybe not," and laughed.

More seriously, Armstrong said having the historic race in America would be a good idea, but flying across six time zones would be hard on the racers.

"I would support it because I'm not going to be there flying back and forth - for the tifosi in America it would be a good thing.

"I think it's a good idea - but I'm not sure the riders would think it's a good idea. That's an incredible thing to ask, to fly 6 hours time difference, do a couple days and then fly back."

Another race Armstrong was asked about was the World Championships in Melbourne, Australia on October 2, 2010. Having won the title in 1993, Armstrong said it would be unlikely he would seek another rainbow jersey next year.

"The worlds are an interesting idea. Sitting here in December, it's easy to say yes, then you get through the Tour and you realize you have two more months and you have to go to Australia where the course isn't necessarily suited for you... to go to Melbourne would be super cool, but I have to guess I wouldn't be there.

"Back in the old days, it used to be a month after the Tour. When they moved it back to October I think it changed its importance on the international calendar."

The RadioShack team camp in Tucson, Arizona was the first opportunity for Armstrong to meet his new team, although there were many familiar faces on hand. Eight of the nine riders from Astana’s Tour de France squad have joined the new team along with Director Sportif Johan Bruyneel.

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