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Merckx does not believe in Armstrong Tour start

Five-time Tour de France winner Eddy Merckx thinks that seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong is not going for number eight in 2009. Merckx spoke to Armstrong during Interbike in Las Vegas.

Merckx stated several reasons to Belgian paper Le Soir for Armstrong to miss the 2009 Tour. "Mainly there is the difficult relationship between Lance and France as well as the French press. There is also the morale [issues] with regards to Alberto Contador. And the third reason is a sportive one. To participate at the Giro aged 37 after having stopped for three years is already huge."

Armstrong chose to not participate at the Tour de France presentation today. But this is not unusual, as he has not attended all the presentation in the past, either.

Armstrong announced coming out of retirement on September 24. His programme will include the Tour down Under, the Tour of California and the Giro d'Italia.

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