Armstrong ends international cycling career
Updated: 2011-01-24 08:05
Lance Armstrong of the U.S. signs in before the 2011 Tour Down Under in Adelaide January 23, 2011. REUTERS
Tour de France icon quits the sport after Adelaide event
ADELAIDE, Australia - Tour de France icon Lance Armstrong brought an end to his international cycling career on Sunday when he completed the final stage of the Tour Down Under in Adelaide.
Cancer survivor Armstrong won a record seven Tour de France yellow jerseys, but failed to produce fireworks on what was his final professional race outside the United States.
Armstrong won no stages in the six-stage event, finishing 67th overall at 6 min 42 sec behind 23-year-old race champion Cameron Meyer of Australia.
The 39-year-old American is still contracted to the RadioShack team, for whom he is scheduled to race in several multi-sport events.
Armstrong's participation in mountain bike races or triathlons could be determined, however, by the outcome of a US federal probe launched following allegations that he took banned substances regularly while racing with US Postal from 1999 to 2004.
Armstrong said last October that the Tour Down Under, where he launched his second comeback to the sport in 2009 - having retired after his seventh Tour de France win in 2005 - would be his final international race.
Having been forced onto the defensive earlier this week in the wake of further allegations of doping in a website report by Sports Illustrated magazine, Armstrong avoided all media after the race's end and instead made a brief appearance on the podium.
The Texan paid tribute to everyone involved with Australia's premier cycling event, which his presence has helped to boost in his three appearances.
"Thanks for a great couple of years, a great few years. Not just from myself but from all of us in the peloton," he said.
Armstrong will now fly to Brisbane where he has organized a "Twitter" ride alongside Australian sprint specialist Robbie McEwen, who recently signed for RadioShack.
The 25km event is designed to help raise funds for the Queensland floods fund, and is expected to attract thousands of members of the public on Monday.
"We've had an outstanding response so far and thanks to Robbie for getting me on board to help out Queensland in its time of need," Armstrong said in a statement on Sunday.
McEwen said he felt he had to help out his fellow Queenslanders, especially with some of his own family hit hard.
"I needed to do my bit to help out. It was lucky we were in Adelaide at the Tour Down Under and the opportunity arose to come up to Brisbane to assist," he said.
(China Daily 01/24/2011 page23)
The Spring Festival is the most important traditional festival for family reunions.
A summary of the major events both inside and outside China.
Alimjan Halik had been selected as the "Cyberspace Personality Who Moved the Hearts of the Chinese in 2010".