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News shorts: Armstrong charged following traffic incident

Armstrong charged after traffic incident

Lance Armstrong has been charged with crashing into two parked cars in Aspen in late December and leaving the scene of an accident after his girlfriend had apparently initially taken the blame in a bid to avoid media coverage of the incident.

When Armstrong’s vehicle struck two cars parked outside an Aspen house on the evening of December 29, his girlfriend Anna Hansen reportedly returned to the scene and left her contact details with the homeowner.

The Aspen Daily News reports that subsequent enquires by local police suggested that Armstrong had in fact been behind the wheel, with Hansen telling police that she had looked to take the blame in an attempt to reduce the prospect of media coverage of the incident.

According to a report by Aspen detective Rick Magnuson, Hansen said: “We’ve had our family name smeared over every paper in the world in the last couple of years and honestly, I’ve got teenagers, I just wanted to protect my family because I thought, ‘Gosh, Anna Hansen hit some cars, it’s not going to show up in the papers, but Lance Armstrong hit some cars, it’s going to be a national story.’”

Armstrong is due to appear in court on March 17 and the Aspen Daily News reports that he has hired attorney Pamela Mackey, who was basketball player Kobe Bryant’s lawyer when he was charged with sexual assault in Colorado in 2003.

Last week, Armstrong marked the two-year anniversary of his confession to doping by admitting that he would probably do the same if he were in the same position again. "My answer is not a popular answer. If I was racing in 2015, no, I wouldn’t do it again, because I don’t think you have to. If you take me back to 1995, when it [doping] was completely and totally pervasive, I’d probably do it again," Armstrong told the BBC.

Valverde in his prime

Alejandro Valverde might be one of the oldest members of his Movistar team but the Spaniard says that he had no intention of stopping any time soon. Valverde comes into 2015 as the reigning WorldTour winner and began his season with an early victory at the Mallorca Challenge and the 33-year-old believes that he has hit his prime.

“I think that I am in the best years of my career. I don’t see any limits,” he told Biciciclismo. “Every year I see myself with more hopes and the desire to win. I don’t only think about winning. I like would like to continue with another mentality, to help my teammates to take big victories. I think that will be more meaningful. I have a name, yes, but I if I can help other teammates to win I would feel happy with that.”

Valverde is currently racing in the Dubai Tour, which began on Wednesday, and will complete the triptych of Middle Eastern races with the Tours of Qatar and Oman. His first major target will be the Ardennes Classics in April. Despite all his success in 2014, a Monument victory escaped his grasp.

“Of course I want to win, but eventually a podium on a monument is a podium,” he said. “It seems that you must always win. I stay happy if I am racing, finishing first, second or third. It means that you are going well and that you can win. If I do win a monument, I will be perfectly fulfilled this year.”

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