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Armstrong will wait to decide on ’05 Tour

Lance Armstrong said Wednesday he will wait until May to decide whether to go for a seventh successive victory in the Tour de France next year. Armstrong won a record sixth Tour title in July, surpassing a host of Tour legends such as Belgian Eddy Merckx and Miguel Indurain of Spain, who was the only rider before Armstrong to claim five straight Tour de France victories. However since setting the outright race record, and with family life and his personal relationship with rock star girlfriend Sheryl Crow becoming more important, rumours have been rife that Armstrong may ditch the Tour to

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By AFP

Lance Armstrong said Wednesday he will wait until May to decide whether to go for a seventh successive victory in the Tour de France next year.

Armstrong won a record sixth Tour title in July, surpassing a host of Tour legends such as Belgian Eddy Merckx and Miguel Indurain of Spain, who was the only rider before Armstrong to claim five straight Tour de France victories.

However since setting the outright race record, and with family life and his personal relationship with rock star girlfriend Sheryl Crow becoming more important, rumours have been rife that Armstrong may ditch the Tour to concentrate on winning some of the big one-day classics for his new sponsor the Discovery Channel.

The 32-year-old American, whose team finished a week of training here Tuesday, told the Austin American-Statesman newspaper he will ride for two more years but has not decided what he will focus on.

“I’ve got a clear head. I’m chilled out. I’m relaxed,” the former US Postal team leader said. “I feel better than I have at other December camps.”

Armstrong admitted that a year ago he was nervous and uncertain about winning the Tour de France once more.

“Last year, I was really preoccupied with all that talk,” Armstrong said. “I was going for the record, something that had never been done before. And boy, there were times when I was starting to believe the stuff people were saying.”

Following a two-week training camp which begins January 11 in Solvang, California, team manager Johan Bruyneel and Armstrong will consider which early season European races he will compete in.

Races being considered are the Tour of Flanders, Amstel Gold, Fleche-Wallone and Belgium’s Liege-Bastogne-Liege on April 24.

After six weeks racing in Europe from mid-March to April, Armstrong plans to return to his home in Texas and then decide whether or not to take on the Tour.