Armstrong marks Bobridge for big things

Jack Bobridge (Uni-SA)

Jack Bobridge (Uni-SA) (Image credit: Mark Gunter)

By Greg Johnson in Adelaide, Australia

Jack Bobridge's month just keeps getting better, with seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong (Astana) singing the Australian's praises. Bobridge and Armstrong attacked the peloton on yesterday's Tour Down Under stage two, gaining a margin for a short time before being recaptured.

"He's 19 years old, racing with well, umm, I,…older guys, but he doesn't care," said Armstrong, careful not to point out that he's the second oldest guy in the field by one day. "He lets it fly whenever he feels good, which is very impressive."

Armstrong had already praised Bobridge in a Twitter entry after the rider enjoyed a 10-kilometre solo break on Tuesday's opening stage. Bobridge was also active in Sunday evening's Cancer Council Classic.

"We actually rode one day last week," explained Armstrong. "It was my first ride here, so just an easy ride with him, Stuart O'Grady and Patrick Jonker. So I got to know him there, I'd heard how good he was, but I didn't know how aggressive he was. So it's one thing to hear about how good someone is, see their times on the track, realise that they obviously have some potential, but then you see their true character when you're in the race."

Bobridge claimed a spot in the UniSA Australian National Team after an impressive performance at the Australian Open Road Championships earlier this month. Bobridge won both the Under 23 Time Trial and Road titles.

"I was talking to him in the race the other day and I said 'I think I know what you're going through,' because we as a national team did the Tour of de Panne back in the early '90s," said Armstrong. "He's got a lot of talent. You know, we'll see."

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