TTs are what concern Armstrong most

Although it's clear Lance Armstrong is in good shape after the opening prologue of the Dauphiné...

Although it's clear Lance Armstrong is in good shape after the opening prologue of the Dauphiné Libéré, where he finished fifth, he maintains that the lack of racing time trials this year is what concerns him most.

"Yes - less racing, less time trials, and the lack of the time trials is what concerns me the most right now. We have a long one here but not many efforts against the clock," Armstrong said at the press conference before the start of the Dauphiné.

It appears the Texan's sub-standard performance at the Tour of Georgia time trial six weeks ago, where he finished ninth in a 29.9 kilometre race against the clock and conceded almost two minutes to his ex-team-mate Floyd Landis, now riding for Phonak, still bothers him - which makes tomorrow's TT test in Roanne even more important.

In Sunday's prologue, both he and George Hincapie were riding new a time trial bike, badged the TTX, featuring an integrated headtube, reshaped downtube and a new one-piece aero bar and stem, and no doubt this bike will make a reappearance on Wednesday.

Armstrong has already said he intends to go all-out in the 46.5 race of truth; the other stage he is hinting at winning is the following day's ride to Mont Ventoux, a mountain he has never won on, but where he famously 'gave' Pantani the win at the 2000 Tour de France.

And while his desire to win a record seventh Tour comes as no surprise, the 33 year-old also wants to win the opening time trial in Fromentine on July 2. "I can't lie; when I roll down that start ramp on July 2nd, my intention is to win that day and the overall," he said.

Asked what it would take not to start this year's Tour, Armstrong said: "It would take a tragedy for me not to start this Tour. I would have to be incapable of riding: an accident, crash or a serious illness."

But exactly what he will do once the Tour is over is still up for speculation - both for Armstrong and the public, it seems.

"The first thing to do is step away from the bike and relax, head back to Texas and spend as much time with my kids as possible. We will see where life takes me from there. I don't have a lot of pressure."

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