Lance Armstrong reveals views on new Tour de France route
on October 28, 2008 by Administrator
Cycling legend Lance Armstrong has spoken publicly about his views concerning the 2009 route for the Tour de France. The cyclist, who has won the event an impressive total of seven times, is aiming to win yet another title next year and he was excited to see the changes to the race’s route.
One of the most notable changes concerns the world-famous Mount Ventoux climb, which has surprisingly been delayed until the penultimate section of the race.
Armstrong believes this to be “innovative and very interesting” but he has also revealed that there has been tension and conflict directed towards the organisers of the Tour.
Carlos Sastre, a famous cyclist from Spain, believes that the new route is so difficult and illogical that he has given up any hope of winning the event. However, many sports pundits have praised the decision to move the Mount Ventoux climb, stating that its new position will keep the event interesting and full of suspense.
The race will start in Monte Carlo with a 15 kilometre time trial on the 4th of July, before moving to Marseille for a lengthy 196 kilometre stage. One of the highlights is bound to be the 38 kilometre team time trial scheduled to be held in Montpellier.
Armstrong, who retired from cycling in 2005 before announcing his desire to return to the Tour de France earlier this year, was quick to notice the reintroduction of the team time trial and expressed his excitement at the prospect. The cyclist summed up his mood by stating that he “could not have hoped for a more different Tour”.
The 37-year-old has also been pondering the issue of who will lead the Astana team next year. Armstrong is one of four cyclists who are being considered and the competition is fierce, with the Spaniard Alberto Contador emerging as a hot favourite.
Contador (who has also spoken publicly about his happiness and excitement concerning the new route) won the 2007 Tour de France and has become a true legend in the world of cycling.
The other cyclists in with a chance are Levi Leipheimer and Andreas Kloden. Armstrong remained diplomatic when questioned about the impending decision, stating that it is still too early to make an educated guess at the outcome.
Furthermore, the American was quick to reiterate his commitment to the team as a whole and revealed that Astana is “blessed” to have the “strongest team in the world”.
The cyclist is preparing to compete in the Tour Down Under in January before undertaking his first real test since returning to the cycling world, in the Giro d’Italia scheduled for May of next year.
Whether Armstrong ends up competing in the Tour de France remains to be seen. The boss of Astana believes that the cyclist may not be physically fit enough to cope with the challenges of the Tour.
The director of the Tour has refused to speculate on the issue, stating that it is purely Armstrong’s decision whether or not he chooses to attend the event. The director has conceded that the cyclist is “special” but if he arrives in Monaco he will simply be “a rider like others”.