Related News

Home » Sports » Cycling

Armstrong on schedule for Tour

LANCE Armstrong is back on schedule in his Tour de France preparations.

Two months ago, the seven-time Tour winner fell and broke his collarbone at a race in Spain, jeopardizing his entire comeback after three and a half years of retirement.

Now, in the third week of the Giro d'Italia, Armstrong is starting to keep up with the race leaders on the tough climbs.

"It's exactly what I hoped for," Astana team manager Johan Bruyneel said.

"I didn't hope for a great result in the Giro. I didn't expect him to be with the favorites all the time, but I hoped that he could be progressing or be close to the favorites in the last week and that's a little bit what's happening."

Armstrong sits 12th overall - 11 minutes, 6 seconds behind race leader Denis Menchov of Russia - but he is starting to ride better than several riders placed ahead of him, including teammate Levi Leipheimer.

Armstrong was riding with the race leaders up the final climb of Monday's grueling stage to Monte Petrano until he realized that Leipheimer - who entered the stage third overall - had dropped behind.

Armstrong slowed up and escorted Leipheimer to the finish, likely costing Armstrong several positions in the standings. Leipheimer dropped to sixth, 3:21 behind Menchov.

Bruyneel suggested Armstrong would be between fifth and seventh overall if he were riding for himself.

"That's actually a lot better than we expected," said Bruyneel. "I would like to see if we can continue this progression, or at least stay at the same level."

Bruyneel confirmed that Armstrong will not race between the Giro and Tour, choosing to recover at home in Texas and then train at altitude in Colorado.

"If you do the Giro, the main thing is to recover from it," Bruyneel said. "At the Tour you have to be fresh for the start and be able to ride strong in the third week."


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend