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21 Mar, 2009 09:05

Armstrong returns to Europe

Legendary cyclist Lance Armstrong is gearing up to make his comeback in Europe, where he recorded his biggest wins. But the American road-racer doesn’t think he’s among favourites at the Milan-San Remo race on Saturday.

“Some people expect you to step off the bike in Paris in 2005 and come back in Australia in 2009 as the same rider – in the same condition and fitness; look the same, ride the same, win the same, but that’s just not possible,” Lance Armstrong said.

Milan-San Remo is the longest professional one-day race, with the distance of 294 kilometers. The annual event was first held in 1907.

The seven times Tour de France winner retired after the 2005 season and made his return into pro-cycling this January, by taking part in the Tour Down Under stage race. Armstrong was 29th at the finish of the event.

“I have decided to return to professional cycling in order to raise awareness of the global cancer burden,” Armstrong explained on his livestrong.org website.

The U.S. cyclist was diagnosed cancer back in 1996 but managed to defeat the illness and later established the Lance Armstrong Foundation to support people affected by cancer.