Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Lance Armstrong Expects Giro Stage Win

Lance Armstrong expects to win at least one stage in the Giro d'Italia but ruled out contending for the title as he rides in support of Levi Leipheimer.

Armstrong, 37, broke his collarbone in a fall on 23 March but returned in the Tour of Gila in New Mexico on 29 April.
"I'd be disappointed if I didn't win one stage, I don't care if it's a time trial or mountain stage," he said.

Armstrong will use the Giro, which starts on 9 May, to gauge his chances of winning an eighth Tour de France.

The Giro is considered cycling's second most important race after the Tour but Armstrong admitted his expectations have lowered since his fall in the Vuelta Castilla y Leon in March.

The American required surgery to repair his shattered right collarbone and had a stainless steel plate and 12 screws inserted to stabilise it.

Who will win the Giro d'Italia 2009?

"Whilst at the beginning of the year the objective was to be a contender I am not sure that still will be the case with the crash that I had about a month ago," he said.

"Before that I was ahead of schedule. Now we're behind schedule. I have to go into the Giro knowing I'm not a contender for the overall. But we have a rider who is going for the overall, and I'll ride for him."

Armstrong helped Astana team-mate Leipheimer win the Tour of Gila in New Mexico last week, and the Tour of California at the beginning of the season.

Armstrong, who returned to cycling in January to promote his Livestrong cancer charity after over three years in retirement, also said he dreamed of managing his own cycling team in the future but it would depend on money.
"I have a passion for cycling so if we could continue on in the future with a team, yes we would do that," he said.

"Do we have the sponsorship and the funding today? No we don't, so there is a big difference between the two points."

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