Armstrong understands German opposition

Jan. 19, 2009 at 1:19 PM
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ADELAIDE, Australia, Jan. 19 (UPI) -- U.S. professional cyclist Lance Armstrong says he understands why he faces opposition from German critics in his attempt to return from retirement.

The seven-time Tour de France winner, who is taking part in the Tour Down Under in Australia, said he recognizes how doping scandals in the cycling world may have dampened the spirits of some German fans, the Los Angeles Times reported Monday.

"People have invested emotions into the athlete and into events and they feel betrayed, he said of reported German hostility to the cycling world. "When you feel there's been a bad deal on your investment, you pull out. Like any financial arrangement or emotional arrangement, they're pulling out emotionally and financially."

Meanwhile, Armstrong told the Times his attempt at a comeback at the age of 37 is going well so far.

"Maybe there's a little more stiffness, soreness in the morning," said Armstrong, who has undergone treatments for both brain and testicular cancer. "But I recover well. I don't want to say I feel the same as I did in my early 30s, but I'm not far off and, mentally, too, that's a key, and my mind feels very young."

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