Mission impossible... but those are the odds Armstrong lives for!
LANCE Armstrong has admitted he might be a “fool” to think he could win an eighth Tour de France, but that he’s going to keep trying anyway.
“I think I can win the Tour again. I might be a fool to think that, but I’m going to go down my foolish way and find out,” said the 38-year-old Texan in Adelaide, as he headed for his private jet and the long flight back to America after competing in the Tour Down Under.
“It’s something I think would be possible,” Armstrong said.
“It’s going to be the hardest one to win. The competition is better than it ever has been before.”
To most eyes, Armstrong is looking much fitter now than at the Tour Down Under last year, when he returned to Pro-Tour cycling after a three-year absence, and his Directeur Sportif at RadioShack, Johan Bruyneel, is accentuating the positive.
“Lance is good. He’s a lot different than last year. Physically, his form is a lot better, he feels good in the bunch and he feels good in the team, so that’s three things that are better than last year,” Bruyneel said.
Dave Brailsford, principal of Britain’s Team Sky, has described Armstrong as the “benchmark” and warns it would be a mistake to write off his chances.
“He’s definitely got it in him for another Tour de France and being right up there, there’s no doubt about it,” he said.
“Whether he can win it or not, time will tell. You can’t say that he will, but you certainly can’t say that he can’t. As long as you say that Lance Armstrong can’t, then he’s in with a chance.”
Armstrong feels the 2010 Tour de France could be the most difficult to win of his career.
He reckons Alberto Contador is a prime example of the new breed of cyclist and will be a lot tougher nut to crack than say the Jan Ulrich or Marco Pantanis of old.
Besides being a dynamic climber, Contador has developed his time-trialling skills to such an extent he has become one of the best in the world at the discipline and his tactical nous and bunch-riding skills have improved beyond all recognition.
Armstrong said every Tour d’France he won he thought would be the toughest at the time yet, looking back, he realises they were relatively easily.
At times Armstrong admits to not having been the best cyclist on the Tour, but somehow the pieces would fall in place and he would emerge the winner, and he has always cited his mercenary training schedule as his secret to success.
However, the Texan feels this year he will not only need that vital bit of luck, but also faces added pressure in that he knows he cannot afford a single mistake or have one off-day ... if he is to emerge victorious. – The Telegraph, Sports Staff