After saying front runner Paris "deserves the Games," the cycling champ says now the uproar was caused by his "not being strong enough when I said my vote was for New York City."
"Since it wasn't strong enough, they said, 'He's a traitor. He's a weasel,'" the six-time Tour de France champ said while accepting an award from the French Foreign Ministry.
"Some of the tabloid papers, they let it rip. They took the gloves off. But c'est la vie, as they say," the New York Post reported. The Post had referred to Armstrong as "Traitour de France."
As for New Yorkers, he sympathized "with everything they went through the last four, five years," referring to the Sept. 11 terror attacks, and "if they don't win in 2012, they could win in 2016."
Notable deaths of 2014 [PHOTOS]