Lance Armstrong, the seven times Tour de France winner who has come out of retirement to race in 2009, has said that he’s looking into riding the Tour of Ireland.

Earlier today, Armstrong held an online press conference from his Astana team’s training camp in Tenerife, Canary Islands, during which he expressed his interest in the Irish stage race.

“We are seriously looking at the Tour of Ireland,” Armstrong said. “Ironically enough I did that race in 1992, which makes me feel very old.

‘The timing [of the race] works out really well. Ireland has been very progressive with regard to this issue of public health [such as banning smoking in public places]. I’d love to be back there, 17 years later.”

When the Texan announced his comeback to competition in September, he made it clear that his aim would be to bring his LiveStrong cancer initiative to a global audience – and would therefore be racing in as many different countries as possible.

Back in October, organisers of the Tour of Britain issued an invite to Armstrong to take part in its stage race. As yet, Armstrong has not mentioned the British event featuring in his race calendar.

Armstrong’s first race in 2009 will be the Tour Down Under, South Australia, which runs from January 20-25.

You can read the full transcript of the press conference in our news section. There’s also an exclusive Lance Armstrong interview with Ed Pickering.

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