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Lance Armstrong Press Conference
Monday, April 18, 2005

Welcome to our coverage of today's Lance Armstrong press conference.
We'll do our best to post details right here, as Lance makes his announcement(s).

This page will automatically refresh every three minutes until the end of  the coverage.  You may stop/restart the automatic updates anytime by clicking on your browser's Stop/Refresh buttons.

The scheduled start for the press conference is 2:30pm U.S. EST (8:30pm or 20:30 CET).


Just to review briefly what is previously known:  Lance and team officials said that Lance will definitely be at the start line of the 2005 Tour de France.  Today's announcement is about what comes next.

Most commentators seem to believe that today's announcement will be retirement-related.

Lance has not yet appeared on the stage.

The tension is building.

It's about 3:20pm U.S. EST (21:20 CET) and still no sign of Lance on the stage.  Various other riders racing in the Tour de Georgia have appeared on stage.  The Tour de Georgia begins tomorrow, Tuesday.  Lance Armstrong is defending champion.  2003 champion Chris Horner (third in 2004) will not be racing this year as he recovers from injury.

Apparently Lance will be on stage at about 3:30pm U.S. EST (21:30 CET), in about 10 minutes.

Lance and Johan are on the stage...

Lance:  "The Tour de France will be my last race as a professional cyclist."

It's official, the 2005 Tour de France will be Lance's last race as a professional cyclist.  "The decision is final."

Lance just said he will do everything to win a 7th Tour de France in July.  "This will be my last one, win or lose."

Lance sounds pretty subdued.  A long career as an athlete will come to an end in just over 3 months.

Lance: "I'm too close to (Johan Bruyneel) to not want to continue to be an integral part of the team in some capacity.  I hope to help develop the next American Tour de France champion."

Lance: "The biggest inspiration in my life now and the biggest inspiration in this decision is my children."

Lance thanked Discovery Channel, his Mom, Johan Bruyneel, present and former teammates, Sheryl Crow and cancer survivors for all their support.

Well it's clear what will be Lance's motivation to win the Tour for a 7th time: going out on top.

That's all for now.  Thanks for joining us.  Tour de Georgia begins tomorrow.