Armstrong attracts fans for park cycle

 

Seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong took a cycle with hundreds of fans around Phoenix Park in Dublin this evening after posting an impromtu invitation on the Twitter website earlier in the day.

Armstrong followed by an estimated 1,200 cyclists - many in work suits - brought the capital's rush hour traffic to a halt as they gently rode and chatted through the park.

No other cyclist, probably in history, could have sent out such a message at short notice and attracted such a collosal crowd to the Phoenix Park.

The 37-year-old American is in Dublin for a three-day global cancer summit organised by his Livestrong foundation.

His message on Twitter earlier read: “Good morning Dublin. Who wants to ride this afternoon? I do. 5:30 pm @ the roundabout of Fountain Rd and Chesterfield Ave. See you there.”

Last week in Scotland, Armstrong posted a similar tweet and on that occasion up to 300 people joined him on a cycle around Paisley.

Armstrong also took part in the Tour of Ireland race but was forced to pull out in Cork last weekend with back trouble.

He later admitted it had been a long season.

“That particular Sunday I had terrible back problems, and I don’t know if my bike was set up improperly or if it’s just the fact that I’m 38-years-old and you have those days,” he said.

“But I know St Patrick’s Hill [in Cork] from 17 years ago, and in cycling when your back goes everything goes.”

Additional reporting PA