BORDEAUX, France, Reuters
Lance Armstrong says he would love to retire in style in two years time after winning an unprecedented sixth Tour de France.
Speaking in an interview with Reuters during the rest day of the Tour de France, Armstrong said spending so much time away from his family was the hardest part of being a professional rider.
The American, chasing his fourth consecutive Tour de France triumph, said he understood why Italy’s Mario Cipollini and Frenchman Laurent Jalabert had decided to retire from the sport.
“I haven’t spoken to Jalabert but I suspect one of the reasons why he’s retiring is that you are away from home all the time,” Armstrong said.
“There’s training camps, races, sponsor activities, it grinds on you. So after 10, 12 years of it, you just say ‘that’s enough’.
“I miss my family more and more now. They came yesterday and it was great to see them, it makes my day to see them.
“Fortunately they understand that this is my job and it has its rewards. They know that in a couple more years I’ll just be a nuisance around the house and (wife) Kristen will want me to go off and do a bike race or do a training camp.”
Asked about retiring, Armstrong said he would love to go out on top, winning a record breaking sixth Tour de France in 2004.
“Thinking about Miguel Indurain or Michael Jordan, you would always love to see them do something unprecedented, win number six and then say ‘That’s it guys, I’m out of here’. Going out on top is just the ultimate, isn’t it?
“I always hoped Indurain would come back and try and win again in 1997 but the problem is if that you don’t win it gets ugly.
“I don’t know if I would come back after losing a Tour. It’s a good question but I hope I’m never in that position.”