35,000 cyclists take part in wind-blown ride

Lance Armstrong took part in Africa's biggest bike race – and finished ninth after helping a mate to a podium finish.

During the Pick n Pay Cape Argus Cycle Tour in South Africa, Armstrong set up a sprint for fellow RadioShack rider Daryl Impey after an attack. Impey finished third, buffeted slightly by a strong headwind.

South Africa's Malcolm Lange came in first and, tongue-in-cheek, commented that he could now say he'd beaten Armstrong.

Lange said he thought Armstrong had underestimated the Cape wind and started sprinting too early.

"But Armstrong's presence meant the crowds were lining the route for us, which doesn't happen so early in the morning. He'll have to come every year,” he said.

"What a cool ride/race," Armstrong wrote on his Twitter feed. "Wind was howling out there."

Lange won Africa's biggest race for the third time, finishing the 109-kilometre course in 2hr 39min 55sec.

Armstrong was taking part after helping raise funds for a charity organisation in South Africa. About 35,000 riders competed, including former tennis player Gabriella Sabatini, co-founder of Blackberry Jim Balsillie, CEO of Vodafone Vittorio Colao and bike designer Gerard Vroomen.