Lance Says Goodbye to International Cycling [via Livestrong Team Radioshack]

Posted by Cathy Mehl | 12:05:00 AM PST January 23, 2011 | 1 Comments
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Santos Tour Down Under
Stage 6:  Adelaide, 90km/56mi
By Cathy Mehl

Another exciting day of racing came from South Australia on Sunday as the final stage of the Santos Tour Down Under took place over a 90km criterium circuit in Adelaide.  The peloton of 130 riders tackled 20 laps of 4-1/2k each under sunny skies and in front of enthusiastic crowds.  Race leader Cameron Meyer (Garmin-Cervelo) survived a tense day of chasing bonus seconds and owes a big thanks to Team Sky for going one-two in the sprint finish to keep Matthew Goss (HTC-Highroad) from stealing the race lead at the last possible moment in a true nail-biter of a stage.  Ben Swift and Greg Henderson crossed just in front of Goss, giving him a four-second bonus for his third place victory.  Goss had gained two-seconds in the first sprint lap of the day and had he finished first or second on today’s stage he could have won the overall, but Team Sky kept that from happening when their sprinters took the top two spots, leaving Meyer the victor over Goss by two seconds.  

Team RadioShack’s Lance Armstrong was presented by Premier Rann with a pair of R.M. Williams’ boots after today’s race.  Accepting the gift he said, “Not only will I wear them the next time I come back, but I’ll probably wear them tonight!”  Lance went on to acknowledge the great week the teams have enjoyed in South Australia, saying, “Thanks for a great few years, not just from myself but from all of us in the peloton.  Look at the crowd here today.  This is amazing.  To start and finish here in this city and be all around in South Australia, to be treated like kings….it’s been a real pleasure and I congratulate you all for building an unbelievable event.  I’ve said it several times this week  - we travel all over the world and you do not see crowds and an atmosphere like this in very many places.  I think this rivals the Tour, it rivals the Giro and all the big races.  You should know that you made that.  The Premier helped support it and had the vision but if the people don’t stand there and support the athletes and support the sponsors and the race, then it doesn’t happen.  So from all of us, thank you all.  Thank you for being here and thanks for supporting cycling.”  Lance exited the stage to loud, enthusiastic applause in what he’s called his last international bike race. 

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