Armstrong ready for Tour de France

SYDNEY - Seven-time record Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong says he expects his rivalry with Alberto Contador to increase this year now both riders are competing in different teams.

SYDNEY - Seven-time record Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong says he expects his rivalry with Alberto Contador to increase this year now both riders are competing in different teams.

Armstrong, who will debut his new RadioShack team at next week's Tour Down Under in Australia, finished third in his comeback Tour de France last year as Spain's Contador won for a second time.

They were teammates at Astana last year, but Armstrong, who dominated the Tour from 1999-2005, left Astana to spearhead his new RadioShack team, taking several riders with him.

The two Tour champions have made clear their genuine dislike for each other.

"All the personal stuff aside, just speaking about the athlete, he's a fantastic athlete, he's a very complete rider," Armstrong said yesterday.

"I really believe I can (win the Tour de France)," he said. - Sapa-AFP

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