Lance Armstrong says that with his own chances of victory in the Giro d?Italia gone, he is ready to work for team late Levi Leipheimer and even sacrifice a chance of a stage victory.

Armstrong lost a further 39 seconds to the overall contenders during Thursday?s stage to Mayrhofen in Austria, and is now 25th overall at 4-13.

Armstrong wrote on twitter after surviving the twisting finale to Mayrhofen: ?Done with stage 6. Uh…wow. That was the craziest last 30k I’ve ever seen. Long, fast decent at 80k (50pmh) plus then a tight circuit. Not sure that’s necessary really. Tomorrow is the same kind of finish. It’s bike racing, not moto gp..?

Speaking to journalists, Armstrong admitted he needs to ride the Giro d?Italia to get fit for the Tour de France, even if that means suffering on the climbs and getting dropped by riders he always left behind in the past.

?I need this Giro in order to good in the Tour de France, there?s no doubt about that,? he said.

?I couldn?t train well enough to get the same condition. I could do other races but I think this race is critically important for my build-up.?

Even getting dropped?

?That?s part of it. I?ve had tough days, where I suffered down the back too.I think it’s important to keep all that in perspective. Yeah, obviously you look around and see the guys that are suffering. I look to guys with a certain sense of compassion like Cunego or Bruseghin or Garzelli who came here to win the Giro and now it’s finished in one day. Boom! Done. You have to wonder what they’re thinking?”

Armstrong has always talked about the second half of the Giro being decisive and the Astana team strategy seems to let the Italians worry about the pink jersey at least until the Cinque Terre time trial on stage 12 next Thursday.

?If I were the other favourites, I’d be trying to get some time before then. I don’t know if they can now because there’s no more uphill finishes until then, but perhaps I would have tried a little more yesterday to distance him. If it stays as is, I think there’s no doubt he’s (Leipheimer) in pink, and that would be a real good thing.”

?If Levi is leading the race after the time trial, then my personal ambitions have to be put aside and we have to work together. If he?s in the pink jersey, then everyone has to work for him. My prediction is that he?ll be in the pink jersey??

Giro d’Italia 2009 links

Stage reports
Stage six: Scarponi wins longest stage with big break
Stage five: Menchov wins mountain battle as Di Luca grabs the pink jersey
Stage four: Di Luca denies Soler on the line; Lovkvist takes pink jersey
Stage three: Cavendish loses pink jersey after being caught behind late crash
Stage two: Petacchi denies Cavendish the stage win
Stage one: Cavendish in pink as Columbia prove their point to Garmin

Photo galleries
Stage six photo gallery
Stage five photo gallery
Stage four photo gallery
Stage three photo gallery
Stage two photo gallery
Stage one photo gallery
Desktop wallpaper photos

Giro news round-up: 14 May
Wiggins: ‘I can’t keep smashing away on the climbs’
Wiggins eyes top 20 finish overall
Armstrong after Giro stage 5: ‘That was hard’
Cavendish looking for Giro revenge
Armstrong happy with stage four performance
Lovkvist will fight to keep Giro lead
Giro could be last race for Armstrong’s team
Vande Velde crashes out of Giro
Petacchi claims he didn’t know of Cavendish crash
Cavendish struggles to find consolation in pink jersey
Petacchi: I’ve been working out how to beat Cav
I’m wearing pink on behalf of the team, says Cavendish
Wiggins ready to win Giro team time trial
Friday, May 8: Giro news round-up
Cavendish out to topple Garmin in Giro team time trial
Team time trial start times
Cycling Weekly’s Giro d’Italia top ten prediction
Brits in Venice for Giro presentation
Armstrong overshadows overall favourites at Giro presentation
Armstrong confident of finding new sponsor for Astana
Armstrong working to save Astana team
Wiggins in top form for Giro
Garmin Slipstream kitted out for Giro opener
Dan Lloyd gets late Giro call-up
Armstrong’s special Giro bikes unveiled
Daniel Lloyd overlooked for Giro ride
Cummings and Thomas not selected for Giro d’Italia
Cavendish tests Giro form at Tour of Romandie
David Millar confirms he’s riding in 2009 Giro
Bennati to take on Cavendish in Giro 2009 sprints
2009 Giro d’Italia to start in Venice
Evans and Silence-Lotto disagree on Giro 2009 ride
Armstrong to ride 2009 Giro
Tuttosport reveals 2009 Giro d’Italia route
Dolce & Gabbana design new Giro jersey

2009 Giro d’Italia guide and features
Find the pink jersey competition
Giro d’Italia 2009: The Big Preview
British riders to have led the grand tours
CW’s Giro top ten prediction
Brits in the Giro 2009
Brits in the Tours: From Robinson to Cavendish
CW Classic: the 1987 Giro d’Italia

2008 Giro d’Italia archive
Giro d’Italia 2008 coverage index – race reports, photos, results
From rule Britannia to cruel Britannia
Giro 2008: The final word on this year’s race
Brits at the 2008 Giro: photo special
Five days to go, what’s in store?
Giro d’Italia 2008: Rest day review (May 27)
Giro d’Italia 2008: Rest day review (May 19)
Giro d’Italia 2008 preview

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