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By Agence France Presse
Lance Armstrong said his 12th-placed finish in the Giro d’Italia was “promising” ahead of this year’s Tour de France.
Armstrong came into the Giro insisting that he was not there to contest for the win.
“I came in open-minded. I did not know what to expect, obviously because of
the crash in Castilla y Leon, the time off the bike and the trip over here,”
“In my view it has been a hard three weeks. In the second half of the race
I showed that I was certainly getting better and I think we can take that away
from here. It is promising for June and July.”
Armstrong dismissed expectations that he would have returned to the cycling
world with victories in the biggest events.
“I may have disappointed some fans and people in the press room expecting
that I immediately should start winning big races,” he said.
“That is crazy. I am almost 38 years old. Both of my feet are firmly on the
ground. It’s taken a lot of work up to this point but we might ride strong and
be in the front in July.”
Armstrong added: “The style of racing in Italy is different, but I liked it.
“Despite some dangerous stages, it was a great race. The Giro del
Centenario brought us to the most beautiful places of the country. The people
here are enthusiastic.”
Astana team manager Johan Bruyneel said he hoped the matter of some unpaid
salaries would be resolved so the team could go on and compete in the Tour of
Luxembourg, the Dauphine Libere, the Tour of Switzerland and the Tour de
“I am hopeful and confident that we can ride those races,” said Bruyneel.
The financial woes that left salaries unpaid are not completely resolved yet.
“I hope that the team sponsors will meet the deadline for the bank
guarantee and the payments.
“Moreover the UCI now wants more guarantees about the team for the rest of the year.
“The UCI will decide soon about the near future of the team. We hope to
know more in the coming days. The best solution is that we can continue with
our current structure. I expect that we will have a team at the start of the
Tour de France.”