Lance Armstrong‘s comeback to professional cycling gathered more pace this week when the seven-times Tour de France winner joined his 2009 Astana team-mates in Tenerife and held a press conference to the assembled media.

Armstrong was joined on the stage by team-mate and 2007 Tour winner Alberto Contador and team manager Johan Bruyneel. The Texan answered a range of questions fielded by journalists, which covered everything from his feeling towards the French to using Twitter.

One surprise announcement was Armstrong’s interest in riding the Tour of Ireland. He hinted that the Irish stage race would fit into his 2009 schedule and plans to take his LiveStrong cancer initiative to a wider, global audience.

You can read the whole transcript of the conference in our news section.

Photos by Andy Jones

Lance ArmstrongArmstrong arrives at the press conference

Lance ArmstrongMedia from all over the world descended on Tenerife to see Armstrong and Contador

Lance ArmstrongArmstrong and Astana team manager Johan Bruyneel

Lance ArmstrongThe seven-times Tour winner fields questions from the press

Lance ArmstrongTeam solidarity, or arm-wrestling match? Armstrong and Contador shake on it

Lance ArmstrongAlberto Contador and Johan Bruyneel

Lance ArmstrongLance returns fire

Lance ArmstrongHaving a laugh

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