Lance Armstrong has admitted that he might not ride the 2009 Tour de France during his comeback to racing.
In an exclusive interview in the Italian Gazzetta dello Sport newspaper the day after he confirmed he will ride the 2009 Giro d?Italia, Armstrong revealed that there are still problems with the Tour de France organisers.
?I?m excited about riding the Giro and I?m definitely coming to try to win because there?s a chance that the Giro will be the only three-week stage race I?ll ride,? Armstrong revealed.
?There are still doubts about the Tour de France. Everybody knows how important it is but with the problems that I?ve got with the organisers, journalists and fans, I could get distracted from mission, which is to focus world attention on the fight against cancer.?
?I hope a diplomatic and pacific solution can be found. Before announcing my comeback I contacted the (Tour de France) organisers but I still haven?t had an answer. Is there a chance they won?t invite me? Anything could happen but I find it incredible, a kind of own goal. I want to be in Paris but with a relaxed atmosphere.?
Armstrong revealed he only decided to ride the Giro d?Italia last week, but said he decided to make a comeback after watching the 2008 Tour de France on television and riding the Leadville 100 mountain bike race in August.
?It (not riding the Giro) was one of the big regrets of my career. But I love routines: I won in France the first time without riding the Giro d?Italia and I didn?t want to change a successful programme. I?m also methodical in my life: changes make me insecure.?
?There are two reasons (for a comeback). The first is sporting, I believe I can still be competitive. The second is social, because I think I can be much better in the fight against cancer on the bike. I watched the Tour on television and it made me want to ride. I made a definitive decision in August, the day I finished second in the mountain bike race in Colorado. That was when I got the answers I was looking for.?
?IF I LET THEM TEST ME EVERYDAY IT?S HARD TO CHEAT?
Armstrong revealed he was tested by the World Anti-Doping Agency two days before giving the interview to Gazzetta dello Sport. He defended his decision to hire Don Catlin to be his personal anti-doping tester but admitted some people may never accept he was clean during his career.
?If I let them test me every day, it?s hard to cheat,? Armstrong said when asked if offering totally openness will be enough.
?If I?m as fast in time trials as I was before and if I climb the mountains at the same speed as three years ago, that should end all the talk don?t you think? But I?m sure there will always be someone who has some doubts: ?OK Lance was clean in 2009 but what about the past?? ?
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Wednesday Comment (September 24)
Contador says riding with Lance could be difficult
UCI president rubbishes Armstrong Tour buyout claims
Bruyneel talks up Armstrong's chances
The Wednesday Comment, Armstrong Edition (September 10)
Tour de France: Lance can race in 2009
Contador: Lance could win eighth Tour
Lance confirms 2009 comeback
Armstrong: No smoke without fire?
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