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Armstrong's return in pictures

Lance Armstrong arrives for the Tour Down Under prologue, ready for his first competitive race in more than three years

Prologue: Armstrong arrives in Adelaide on Sunday for his first race since winning the Tour de France for a record seventh time

Armstrong signs in

Now with Team Astana, Armstrong eyes up his first competitive race since his last Tour win in 2005

His return has already generated masses of interest, with an estimated crowd of 130,000 in Adelaide to see his comeback race

His return has already generated masses of interest, with an estimated crowd of 130,000 in Adelaide to see his comeback

Lance Armstrong

It is Armstrong's first big race in over three years and he mingles with the other riders ahead of the 140km stretch

Before the off, he had told journalists not to expect too much, although he revealed he was in very good physical shape

Before the off, the 37-year-old tells journalists not to expect too much, although he reveals he is in very good physical shape

He eventually comes home in 64th place, but his autograph remains in demand

His autograph remains highly prized by his fans, young and old

Armstrong's big targets this year are the Giro d'Italia and Tour de France

Now it's on to the race itself as he continues his build-up to his big targets this year - the Giro d'Italia and Tour de France

His return has already generated masses of interest, with an estimated crowd of 130,000 in Adelaide to see his comeback race

But he admits to pre-race nerves in Adelaide - and eventually comes home in 64th place after refusing to take any unnecessary risks

Lance Armstrong

Tour Down Under stage one: Lance Armstrong pays attention to his fans ahead of the race in South Australia

Cyclists in the first stage of the tour Down Under

Olivier Kaisen and Andoni Lafuente open up a gap of nearly seven minutes over the bunch that includes Armstrong

Lance Armstrong (left)

Around 88,000 fans cheer the riders with Armstrong happy to sit back. Defending tour champion Andre Greipel wins after a late dash

Lance Armstrong

Armstrong ends 120th out of 133 and says: "I want to take it day by day. The early indications are that I feel pretty good, pretty strong."

Lance Armstrong on Stage 2 of the Tour Down Under

Tour Down Under stage two: Lance Armstrong gets to grips with a local favourite on his comeback to competitive cycling

Lance Armstrong on Stage 2 of the Tour Down Under

Armstrong rides at the front of the peloton and takes his chances to attack but the stage is won by Australian Allan Davis, who leads by three seconds overall

Lance Armstrong on Stage 2 of the Tour Down Under

Armstrong is happy being among the leaders: "It felt pretty good. It was maybe not the smartest thing I could have done but I just followed a couple of wheels and found myself in a little group."

Lance Armstrong

Tour Down Under stage three: Armstrong is in hot demand ahead of the 136km stage from Unley to Victor Harbour, south of Adelaide

Lance Armstrong

Armstrong avoided a serious crash, ending the race for nine cyclists, including defending champ Andre Greipel who needs shoulder surgery

Lance Armstrong

Armstrong finishes in the main pack again - 32nd out of 124. He says: "I felt all right, but that high-end intensity I don't have yet."

Lance Armstrong on Stage 4 of the Tour Down Under

Tour Down Under stage four: Armstrong (centre) continued his comeback, finishing in 47th position to climb one spot to 38th overall

Lance Armstrong

"I think it's been harder than I expected. It's not been easy," said Armstrong after a gruelling stage four.

Lance Armstrong

Tour Down Under stage five: Steady progress for Lance Armstrong, who finishes in 23rd position to move up nine places to 29th overall

Lance Armstrong

"Yesterday my legs were screaming at me all day long. Today was a lot easier, " says Armstrong. Australian Allan Davis wins the penultimate stage, and remains overall leader

Armstrong briefly takes the lead in the final stage but has to settle for 29th overall

Armstrong briefly takes the lead in the final stage but has to settle for 29th overall and declares himself happy with his performance



see also
Nervy Armstrong begins comeback
18 Jan 09 |  Cycling
Armstrong rules out comeback win
12 Jan 09 |  Cycling


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