US champ adds lustre to Argus

CAPE TOWN - Seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong finished in the lead group in the Cape Argus cycle tour around the Cape Peninsula yesterday.

The American star made a break inside the last kilometre of the 110km race to create an opening for his Team RadioShack teammate Daryl Impey, a strong sprinter.

In an all-South African podium finish, Impey finished third behind Malcolm Lange and Christoff van Heerden.

With a strong head wind, the winning time was a relatively slow 2hr 39min 55 sec. Armstrong was placed ninth was credited with the same time.

Lange, who won the race for the third time, said Armstrong's presence "added a lot of stature" to Africa's biggest mass participation cycling event, which attracted an entry of 35,000.

But Lange said Armstrong under-estimated the force of the wind at the finish.

Lange's Medscheme team organised a breakaway just over 30km from the finish as the cyclists entered the climb around the scenic Chapman's Peak drive. Armstrong and Impey stayed with the lead bunch of 12 riders through to the finish. - AFP