Armstrong 'terrified' by peloton racing

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Jan 20 2010 10:10 PM | Updated as of Jan 21 2010 06:10 AM

ADELAIDE, Australia – Lance Armstrong is used to leading races, so he admitted he's terrified of riding in the tightly packed peloton as he pursues an ambitious comeback.

Armstrong, hoping to stay injury-free as he targets an eighth Tour de France title at 38, has been deep in the chasing group over the first two stages of this year's Tour Down Under, placing 42nd and 46th.

"Feels a lot safer up front, believe it or not," he said. "It's a lot faster and you get a little bit of bumping, but it's crazy when you're 30, 40, 50 back in, you're just terrified.

"I seem to be enjoying it. It's not something I've done before but it's fun to try."

Armstrong ended a three-and-a-half year retirement here last year but broke his collar bone in a crash three months later, threatening his Tour de France campaign. The Texan eventually placed third.

Dozens of riders were floored by a mass pile-up just after the start on day one, while about 10 went down in the closing section of Wednesday's stage two.

Armstrong said he was also getting used to tactics such as "the train", where teams ride in a line to put their fastest men in position for a sprint.

"I'm a little bit like a fish out of water there. The TGV on the Tour (de France) is the last train I've been on," he joked.

"We're not used to doing a train. We've never practised that, only talked about it a little bit so it's not our forte but we're doing all right."