Lance Armstrong has said that he plans to retire again from cycling in 2011. In an interview with Gazzeta dello Sport the seven time Tour de France winner who came third in the world's greatest bike race in his comeback year behind then team mate Alberto Contador also said that he could improve on this year's result because he had the strongest team to support him and he would have an extra year of preparation too.
However time waits for no man not even cycling superstars and Armstrong gave himself two years to achieve his comeback goals before he climbs off the bike for the final time as a pro.
Armstrong's new Radioshack team is also home to eight former Astana riders who also rode with him in last year's Tour, Contador being the only absentee, and while Armstrong acknowledged the team would miss the Spaniard and size of the task involved in beating him he also insisted “we'll still have the same chances of winning”.
There certainly won't be any arguments about who they are all riding for – although Armstrong also said this week that he would not be team leader saying his age disqualifed him for the role.
“I'm 38 now, I'll be 39 this season - it would be irresponsible to build it around me," he said.
He explicity included next year's Tour de France in his comments highlighting the experience of team mates Levi Leipheimer and Andreas Kloden in potentially leading roles:
"Going into the Tour we have to look at Levi and Kloden, the tactics, the ideas that we use."
That said, a Tour team does not necessarily have to ride for the team leader but can be organised by the leader to ride for the best placed rider on the road as Christian Vandevelde did for Bradley Wiggins at Garmin last year.
Armstrong also told Gazzeta that he would be dispensing with his own drug testing regime administered by a personal drug tester citing the number of official drugs tests he already took and his wish not to upset WADA who he understood had “considered it an affront” to their drug testing set up. The Texan will also no longer be publishing his results on his website saying it made them open to willful misinterpretation.
Plucked from the obscurity of his London commute back in the mid-Nineties to live in Bath and edit bike mags our man made the jump to the interweb back in 2006 as launch editor of a large cycling website somewhat confusingly named after a piece of navigational equipment. He came up with the idea for road.cc mainly to avoid being told what to do… Oh dear, issues there then. Tony tries to ride his bike every day and if he doesn't he gets grumpy, he likes carbon, but owns steel, and wants titanium. When not on his bike or eating cake Tony spends his time looking for new ways to annoy the road.cc team. He's remarkably good at it.