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January 25, 2004

Armstrong speaks at US Postal presentation

Velonews | U.S. Postal presents 2004 squad; Armstrong answers critics

Armstrong stopped short of confirming his participation in the Tour de Georgia, announced by race organizers last week::

Regarding his race schedule, rumored to include a domestic stop at either the Tour of Georgia or the Tour of the Gila in April, Armstrong said: "We'll be starting in Portugal, then to Murcia like we've always done ... Milan-San Remo, perhaps, Criterium International, Bicicleta Vasca, and the Tour de France. As for a domestic race, we're still working on that. There will definitely be a domestic race in April, either the Tour of Georgia or the Tour of the Gila."

Armstrong also criticized Tour de France organizers for a rule change in this year's team time trial, a stage U.S. Postal Service won in 2003:

Meanwhile, he delivered a sharp criticism of the Tour organization's decision to implement a 150-second time-loss cap in the team time trial.

"I still don't know that I understand that, but it's their race, and their rules, and they're free to change and do what they choose," Armstrong said. "But if you consider a team with strong climbers gets to the second time check, and that's only halfway through the race, and they're already two-and-a-half minutes down, what do you think they're going to do? They're going to sit up and take it easy. If that makes for good sport, and good TV, and good interest, I'd be surprised."

The organization of the training camp gives an insight into which riders the Posties will try to place in the spring classics, and what new faces we might see on the 2004 Tour roster:

Armstrong's 2004 team is a big one, and he said that training rides have been divided into two groups: a faster spring-classics group and an easier-paced Tour cluster. Riders in the first group include Viatcheslav Ekimov, Floyd Landis, Ryder Hesjedal, Max Van Heeswijk and George Hincapie; the second group includes Armstrong, Jose Luis Rubiera, Manuel Beltran, Michael Creed and Damon Kluck.

Daily Peloton has the press conference in toto: Part I and Part II. Armstrong has said before that he might race through 2005, but US Postal is only signed as a sponsor through the end of 2004.

Asked if he considers carrying on beyond 2004:

"I think so. As I said in Belgium, I think you were there six weeks ago or so, but a lot depends on the organization and I would want to keep this organization going. I think for a final season I wouldn’t really want to a completely new organization in a different country with a different style of racing and a different style of running the program, a different set of equipment, a different language. I can really see myself racing in 2005 but it would have to be with Johan Bruyneel and these guys."

Posted by Frank Steele on January 25, 2004 in Lance Armstrong 2004, Tour news | Permalink

Comments

Hey there, where did you get that quote from Armstrong on the TTT rules? Sorry if I'm missing something... Thanks!

Posted by: Chris Fox at Mar 11, 2004 2:33:43 PM

Chris, it's in the VeloNews article linked at the top of the post, and again here, about 9 paragraphs down.

Posted by: Frank at Mar 11, 2004 2:49:49 PM

New Rule: Thats like telling Bonds that he can only hit somany home runs or he will get a penalty and lose two runs.

Posted by: Rainman at Jul 7, 2004 6:08:49 PM