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?”
LEVI IN PINK AFTER CINQUE TERRE TT
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|
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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
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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
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2009 Giro d’Italia guide and features
Find the pink jersey competition
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British riders to have led the grand tours
CW’s Giro top ten prediction
Brits in the Giro 2009
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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
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Giro d’Italia 2008: Rest day review (May 27)
Giro d’Italia 2008: Rest day review (May 19)
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