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Armstrong a bigger Tour threat next year, says Evans

Lance Armstrong will be even more of a threat at the 2010 Tour de France, according to World Champion Cadel Evans

"He's going to be bigger and more dangerous than in 2009. I think we'll see Armstrong at another level in 2010," Evans told Australian news agency AAP.

Armstrong returned to cycling this year following a three-year retirement. The seven-time Tour de France winner finished third in this year's edition of the Tour, after a battle for victory with his Astana teammate and eventual winner Alberto Contador.

In contrast, Evans had a poor Tour de France and was unable to top second place finishes in 2007 and 2008. He finished in 30th, 45 minutes back from Contador, but bounced back to form in time to record victory at the World Championship road race in September.

He will face Armstrong for the first time since the 2009 Tour de France at next year's Tour Down Under, January 17 to 24.

"It's fun racing against someone when you're [both in bad shape], actually," Evans continued. "So we'll probably be able to enjoy it more than at the Tour."

Evans' new team BMC Racing became one of the first teams to receive a wild card invitation to the Tour Down Under. The first Australian to win the World Championship road race, Evans will now have the opportunity to display his rainbow jersey on home soil.

As a Professional Continental squad Evans' team must also rely on a wild card invitation to next year's Tour de France. Although there is a possibility that BMC could miss out on an invitation, Evans said he expects to do battle with Armstrong at the Tour de France once more.

"Maybe I will miss out on the Tour, but I think we have all the capabilities to prove we deserve a place."

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