July 23, 2004
Armstrong leaves doors open to ride, not ride 2005 Tour
In favor of Armstrong going for a 7th win:
"I'm not saying I won't do it again," added the 32-year-old who has previously declared that he thought he would end his career after a Sixth Tour win.
"On the other hand, it is fair to say there are still a lot of things I still want to do in cycling like the classics and the hour record and other things that would require a different kind of focus."
"However, I also understand I have a new sponsor and that the Tour de France is the biggest race in the world so I have to discuss it with them.
And it sounds like Johan Bruyneel's vote is clear:
"We haven't yet discussed our program for next season but one thing is sure, he will ride next season and it would be very difficult for Lance to motivate himself without the Tour de France," the Belgian said on French television.
Of course, whether it's next season or 5 years from now, at some point, Armstrong will step aside. I wonder if he's thinking about riding the 2005 Tour in support of a new team leader, while focusing on perhaps the Giro and the hour. He would make one hell of a domestique.
"He is doubtless the greatest rider ever in the Tour de France. He is proving that," said Patrice Clerc, president of the Tour. "Now does he want a seventh, or an eighth? I have no idea."
Armstrong's team still officially says Armstrong's schedule won't be decided until December. Dan Osipow at Tailwind Sports, which owns the Postal squad:
"To say he's out right now is way too speculative. He is going to race a full season, we just can't say what events they will be," he said.
"He's clearly insatiable. This race means more to him than anything (else) in sport," Osipow added."
For his part, Armstrong says he's definitely coming back:
"I would do it. I'm not saying I'd never do it again," he said after Friday's 18th stage. "I'll do it again before I stop. It's a special race. It's everything. You can't have this intensity in any other event."
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for god's sake!!! there a one time for everything in life. one time to make history.6 tours will survive one or two years. seven or eight. a lifetime.
Posted by: maurice at Jul 24, 2004 3:57:09 AM
I did the math, and 6 tour victories would stand at LEAST 6 years! Just teasing - you're right, maurice, 7+ tour victories will never be bested.
Posted by: Freddy at Jul 24, 2004 9:03:11 AM