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Armstrong targets Giro after surgery

SEVEN-TIME Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong still hopes to ride in May's Giro d'Italia, even though his broken collarbone is more serious than initially suspected.

The 37-year-old cancer survivor fractured his right collarbone during the first stage of Spain's Vuelta Castilla y Leon on Monday and was to have surgery on the injury in Austin, Texas, yesterday.

"The Giro is obviously on people's minds when you start to consider that that's about five weeks away," Armstrong said. "In my opinion, I think that the Giro is still very do-able.

"Even if I went into the Giro under-prepared and was riding it as preparation for other events, I would still be excited to go and do that."

Armstrong said medical tests in Austin on Tuesday had revealed "multiple pieces" of broken bone in his collarbone.

"Film shows the clavicle in quite a few more pieces than we originally thought," he added. "Either way, we were still going to plate it and do that at 7.00am tomorrow morning."

He has been advised by his surgeon to rest for 72 hours after the operation and that three or four days after that he would probably be given the all-clear to ride an indoor training bike.

"If the surgery goes well and the plate fits nicely and everything comes together, I don't think it complicates anything for the future any more than the initial opinion did," Armstrong said.

The veteran American rider came out of retirement this year and is due to make his first appearance in the Giro, starting on May 9 in Venice, before riding the Tour de France in July. However, he then experienced the "biggest setback" of his career after the multiple crash on Monday.

Armstrong said the high level of off-season work he had put would help his recovery.

"I felt like my condition was really coming to a place where I was going to be able to ride at the front of the races," he added. "But the good news is that if you get injured with good form, it's a lot easier to come back with decent form and not start from rock bottom."


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