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By VeloNews Interactive
Three-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong busted out the mountain bike last Saturday to compete in the Dirty Duathlon, held at the Rocky Hill Ranch, just 40 minutes east of Armstrong’s hometown in Austin, Texas. And were it not for a little bad luck, the U.S. Postal Star probably would have won the race.
Armstrong was sitting third coming out of the first of two three-mile runs in the run-bike-run format, and a third of the way through the 12-mile ride he had made up that time and was in the lead. But a flat tire cost Armstrong a big chunk of time, and he eventually finished sixth overall, 6:38 behind race winner Brett Vaughan.
“I don’t think there’s any question that he would have won the race if he hadn’t flatted,” said race director John Hill, whose wife used to share an apartment with Armstrong’s wife, Kristin. “That’s was the connection that got him to come out for this race.”
Also trying his hand at a little multi-sporting was rising mountain bike star Walker Ferguson. The 19-year-old finished third at the race in Texas, just 55 seconds back of Vaughan. Earlier this year Ferguson also took third in the under-23 cross-country at the mountain bike world championships in Vail, Colorado.
In its fifth year, the Dirty Duathlon attracted about 200 entrants. The course was completely off-road and very technical. The two runs had several hills and there were lots of rocks. The bike portion was 80 percent single track with some jeep trails mixed in.