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Banned cyclist gives up on four lap run after necking first beer

Banned cyclist Lance Armstrong was back racing last weekend – but the beer seems to have proved too much for him as he abandoned a running event that required him to quaff a can of Budweiser each lap just a quarter of the way through.

The 43-year-old was taking part in a four-lap beer race in his home town of Austin, Texas, which is due to host the first edition of the Flo Beet Mile World Championship, reports Runners World.

Some had anticipated that the Texan might be able to set an age group record at the event, which requires competitors to down a can of Budweiser at the end of each lap.

But it seems that Armstrong, who by his own admission rode and won seven editions of the Tour de France with his body pumped full of drugs, couldn’t do so with a can of lager inside him, let alone four, and said afterwards, “That was not what I expected.”

One fellow competitor, Patrick Hitchins, said: that Armstrong “drank Budweiser heavy from a 12 ounce can, no widemouth, following strict international beer mile standards.”

In a reference to one of the sponsors that dropped Armstrong after he was banned in October 2012, he added: “Perhaps his days with Michelob Ultra Lite put him at a disadvantage.

“He’s probably on his way to a gas station getting some Budweisers right now and practicing his chugging.

“He’s a competitor. I hope to see him out there again,” he added.

There's little doubt that Armstrong's competitive edge remains, but with the former US Postal rider excluded from sanctioned events, it seems clear he is now scraping round the fringes. Though possibly without added alcohol next time.

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.