Armstrong: 'If Contador wins, I'll be second'

Lance Armstrong chses Alberto Contador, Tour de France 2009, stage 7

Lance Armstrong refused to speak to the media in the second half of the Giro d’Italia but seems to going on a charm offensive at the Tour de France.

On Sunday, while waiting for the plane transfer to Limoges, he spoke live on French television sports show ‘Stade 2’ in the company of former Tour de France winner Laurent Fignon, who is currently fighting intestinal cancer.

Armstrong confirmed that all the money raised by selling the yellow Livestrong bracelets during this year’s Tour de France will go to fighting cancer in France and encouraged Fignon.

He also answered a series of question about his rivalry with Alberto Contador and revealed that he will ‘probably’ ride another Tour de France in 2010, perhaps with a new Livestrong team.

When it was put to him that there was not yet a war with Contador but that there clearly wasn’t peace, he said.

“The honest truth? There’s a little tension at the dinner table. Alberto is very strong, very ambitious and I understand that, I’ve won this race seven times and I understand he wants to want it a second time.”

“If he wins, he wins. I’ll be second, third or fifth. If he’s the best rider in the race, there’s nothing I can do.”

Armstrong admitted that the victory in this year’s Tour was probably a battle between him and Contador after Astana’s dominant performance in the first week. But he claimed he was not waging a psychological war against his younger Spanish rival. However, he refused to sign for a guaranteed third place in Paris.

“I try to stay relax and try and keep the atmosphere as calm as I can. Not only with Alberto but with the other guys and the staff.  We’ll see. The Tour is only 25% done, maybe halfway done, but only 25% in terms of the selection.”

“I would probably not sign for third. No. I wouldn’t sign for third place.”


Armstrong refuted the idea that he was still the patron of the Tour de France peloton and claimed he had lost count of the number of doping controls he has done after being tested three times between Friday and Saturday.

“I’ve lost count (of how many dope controls). I can’t complain, it’s the nature of the sport we’re in and the nature of sport in general. We need these tests to restore the confidence of people,” he said.

The Astana team is expected to go into meltdown after the Tour de France with Alexandre Vinokourov returning to the Kazakhstan after his two-year ban for blood doping.

Vino believes he will take over the team, perhaps with Contador as leader, while Armstrong and team manager Johan Bruyneel create a new team aimed at promoting Armstrong’s Livestrong cancer foundation.

To help the team get off the ground, Armstrong hinted that he may ride the 2010 Tour de France.  

“It’s a idea were working on. Nike is the king of the sports world and so would be a good sponsor. But I’m not sure Nike and Livestrong would be the ideal teaming. We’re looking more into sponsors who are investing in the foundation but it’s harder than the Tour.”


Tour de France 2009 - the hub: Index to reports, photos, previews and more.


Stage nine: Third French win as contenders content with ceasefirestage eight: Sanchez wins from break as Tour favourites cancel each other out

Stage seven: Feillu wins at Arcalis, Nocentini takes yellow, Contador leap-frogs Lance

Stage six: Millar's brave bid denied on Barcelona hill as Hushovd triumphs

Stage five: Voeckler survives chase to win his first Tour stage

Stage four: Astana on top but Armstrong misses yellow by hundredths of a second

Live Tour de France stage four TTT coverage

Stage three: Cavendish wins second stage as Armstrong distances Contador

Stage two: Cavendish takes first sprint

Stage one: Cancellara wins opening time trial


Tour de France 2009 News Index>>

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Armstrong says Contador attack wasn't in the plan

Cavendish survives the first Tour mountain stage with ease

Wiggins, the Tour de France overall contender, has arrived

The Feed Zone: Friday, July 10

Millar happy with Tour performance despite no stage win

Analysis: Fight for green jersey is between Cavendish and Hushovd

Wiggins looking ahead to Friday's mountain stage

Analysis: Why Contador's chances rose when Armstrong missed yellow

Delgado criticises Astana for Armstrong manoeuvre

Armstrong: Gaining time on Contador was not the objective

Stage three analysis: Why the bunch split and who gained the most


Garmin-Slipstream's HQ before the Tour

David Zabriskie's time trial bike

Mark Cavendish on the Tour's team time trial

David Brailsford interview

Mark Cavendish on the Tour

Jonathan Vaughters on Bradley Wiggins' chances


Stage eight photo gallery by Graham Watson

Stage seven photo gallery by Graham Watson

Stage six photo gallery by Graham Watson

Stage five photo gallery by Graham Watson

Stage four TTT photo gallery by Graham Watson

Stage three photo gallery by Graham Watson

Stage two photo gallery by Graham Watson

Stage one photo gallery by Andy Jones

Stage one photo gallery by Graham Watson

Team presentation by Andy Jones

Team presentation by Graham Watson


Tour de France 2009 - the hub

Tour de France 2009: Who's riding

Tour de France 2009: Team guide

About the Tour de France


Tour de France 2009 on TV: Eurosport and ITV4 schedules

Big names missing from 2009 Tour de France

Tour de France anti-doping measures explained

Brits in the Tours: From Robinson to Cavendish

Cycling Weekly's rider profiles


Follow the Tour on Cycling Weekly's Twitter feed


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