Lance Armstrong has withdrawn from the event next month that was supposed to be his springboard back into triathlon competition.
Armstrong posted a note on his Twitter account under the name “Juan Pelota” that nagging knee problems will keep him out of New Zealand’s Blue Lakes multi-sport festival in Rotorua on the North Island set for January 29-30.
“Unfortunately can’t make the tri in Rotorua,” Armstrong wrote. “Dealing (again) with some knee issues and unable to run for now.”
The Associated Press reported Wednesday that event officials said that Armstrong planned to return to the United States immediately after competing in the Tour Down Under, set for January 16-23.
Armstrong has indicated that the Tour Down Under will probably be his final race outside the United States. The seven-time Tour champion said he is likely to compete in the U.S. events, most likely the Tour of California in May and perhaps the new Colorado tour set for August.
Armstrong has also indicated he will be returning to triathlon, the sport where he made a name for himself in the early 1990s before turning to a professional road racing career. The Blue Lakes triathlon would have been Armstrong’s first as his comeback to professional cycling winds down in 2011.