WATERFORD, Ireland — Lance Armstrong finished in the main group of riders Friday in the opening stage of the three-day Tour of Ireland, his first race since his third-place showing in the Tour de France.
The seven-time Tour de France winner was among the 14 cyclists to come in 16 seconds behind stage winner Russell Downing of Britain.
Armstrong updated his Twitter feed after the ride to describe the route: “Up/down/left/right/windy!! I felt like I was breathing thru a straw. A small straw.”
This is Armstrong’s last race of the year, and he is using it to promote his Livestrong cancer foundation.
Downing covered the 122-mile route from Powerscourt to Waterford in 5 hours, 10 minutes, 37 seconds. Russia’s Alexander Kolobnev was second and Denmark’s Matti Breschel was third — both a second back.
Saturday’s 122-mile stage is from nearby Clonmel to Killarney. The 359-mile race ends Sunday in Cork.