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Lance Armstrong will give his first interview since being stripped of his seven Tour de France titles later this month when he appears on the 'Oprah's Next Chapter' program on her eponymous US cable television network.

The interview, which will go to air on January 17 will also be available simultaneously through the network's website.

Armstrong was the focus of the United States Anti-Doping Agency'sinvestigation which labelled the US Postal team's operation as "the most sophisticated, professionalized and successful doping program that sport has ever seen" on October 10, 2012. USADA stripped Armstrong of all results from August 1, 1998 when he declined to contest charges of doping in late August and handed the Texan a lifetime ban all of which was later ratified by cycling's governing body, the UCI.

The 41-year-old will give the interview from his home in Texas.

A media release on Oprah.com said that "Armstrong will address the alleged doping scandal, years of accusations of cheating, and charges of lying about the use of performance-enhancing drugs throughout his storied cycling career."



U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks on Monday upheld the jurisdiction of USADAto pursue its case against Armstrong, noting that the agency's authorization stemmed from an act of Congress and that its arbitration process does not violate Armstrong's right to due process.

Sparks said the court "should not interfere with an amateur sports organization's disciplinary procedures unless the organization shows wanton disregard for its rules, to the immediate and irreparable harm of a plaintiff, where the plaintiff has no other available remedy."



Alberto Contador (Saxo Bank Tinkoff Bank) explained why he made a surprise move in a hot spot sprint bonus 162.5km into stage 2 of the Vuelta a Espana to claim a two-second time bonus for a third place behind two breakaways.

"Grand Tours are sometimes won and lost by seconds," he said.

The Spaniard was doubtless referring to last year's Vuelta, which Chris Froome (Sky), a leading rival for this year's title, lost by 13 seconds last year to Juan Jose Cobo (Movistar). And without time bonuses, Froome would actually have finished first overall.

Contador explained that he had been in a good position anyway on the slight rise through Viana, where the time bonus was situated - preceding a loop round the town and final bunch sprint finish - and had seen the opportunity to go for the third place in the time bonus behind two breakaways.

"I was toward the front anyway with [Danish teammate] Niki Sorensen, we were well placed, and we decided to go for it," Contador said, "and if there's another opportunity to take two seconds or six seconds tomorrow, I'd do it again - major Tours are won and lost by seconds sometimes."

Asked if it was a sign of whether he was nervous about his form or ambitious, Contador said, "That depends on how you interpret it. My objective is to do as well as possible overall."

As for the two upcoming summit finishes, Contador said they were "very different. Arrate [on stage 3] is short and punchy, whereas Valdezcaray is much longer and gentler. It'll be difficult to attack on Valdezcaray, though, if it's windy - it's very exposed at the top."

His compatriot Jonathan Castroviejo (Movistar) was none too optimistic about his chances of staying in the lead tomorrow [Monday], saying, "Although it's not too long, and I know it well, I've got to be realistic, the big names for the overall classification will start to attack, and I just hope it's a teammate who is up there and takes over the lead."

"It's a finish we often use in the Tour of the Basque Country and very typical of the kinds of climb you get in that race. I think we'll start to see there who can win the Vuelta.


You don't need Bradley Wiggins's fitness levels – but staying in shape helps reduce pain when cycling. Photograph: Gustau Nacarino/REUTERS

Cyclists' squats

If you ride around a lot, most likely you're going to have pretty tight calves, which can make squatting well fairly tricky. Elevating the heels about 5 cm by placing some weighted plates (if you are in the gym) or books or magazines (if you are at home), allowing you to squat deeper with an upright torso. Keep the feet parallel (as you would if you werecycling). Try three sets of 12 repetitions, with enough weight to mean the 12th repetition is very hard indeed.

Core training

Just because cycling seems to use mostly leg muscles doesn't mean you should neglect your core strength. A strong core will help you to keep good posture while you ride, especially when you're out of the saddle, going uphill for example. The plank is an exercise you can do at home, outdoors, or under your desk: lie chest-down on the floor. Push yourself up onto your elbows (kept directly beneath your shoulders) and tuck your toes under. Hold this position, keeping your back straight, for as long as you can.

Tricep dips

The back of your arms can take a bit of a thrashing on bumpy rides so it's good to keep them strong. Place your hands behind you, fingers pointing forward, on a bench, block or step. Keep the knees bent and thighs parallel to the ground. Bend the elbows until your bottom nearly touches the ground. Extend the elbows. Repeat 12 times. Rest one minute and go again.

Lower back

It's usually around 26 miles (marathon distance, interestingly), that it kicks in for me when I'm doing a long ride: the lower back ache. Now I'm sure it's partly because I haven't spend hundreds of pounds on the best bike in the world and getting it set up by an expert (another tip, get the ergonomics right), but it's also just because the back gets tired. And it gets tired because it's not strong enough. So keep the lower back strong by performing weighted row movements with dumbbells or kettlebells.

Stand with feet hip-distance apart. Bend down until your torso is as close to parallel with the floor as you can manage and make sure your back is straight, shoulders pulled back into their sockets. Tilt your pelvis slightly forward so that you hips point upwards a little. Holding the weights in either hand, bend at the elbows and pull the arms up until the weight brushes your chest, keeping elbows close to the body. Extend the arms and repeat! Start with three sets of 12 repetitions, with a minute's rest in-between. It should be heavy enough that you struggle to get out the last repetition.


Increase your cardiovascular fitness quickly by including intervals in your training. Start with basic repetitions of one minute hard, say 80% of maximum effort, one minute easy, around 40% of maximum effort. Obviously this isn't very conducive to commuting so try to do it either on a stationary bike in the gym, or in a park where you can let rip for a minute! Also, spinning classes or similar are basically just one long interval and hill session.

Add power

Pat Leahy is a professional ironman coach and athlete. He says: "You should do at least one very hard power session each week. This is best done on a spin bike indoors where you know you won't have to stop for any reason. Start with, say, 4-6 minutes on a high resistance, then take 1-2 minutes recovery. Repeat it 4 times and build it up each week."

Hit the hills

Find a hill, any hill that's long enough, hard enough and pretty enough to keep you challenged and interested, and set yourself a goal to get up it a certain number of times. It's simple, it's effective and you'll feel amazing (and be fitter) after: it's hill training.

Stay flexible

If you're a regular rider, the likelihood is that your hamstrings are tight and, let's face it, how many of us stretch for at least five minutes every time we get off the bike? One great way of ensuring that you do the flexibility work necessary is to do a couple of yoga sessions every week, ideally heated (where you practice in 35-38C) as that helps the muscles to warm up quicker and allows for safer stretching.


Take at least one day off per week. It sounds counterintuitive but actually rest is the only way to get stronger. It has to be rest in between training sessions (or long commutes by bike) of course, rather than just never-going-out-on-your-bike kind of rest. But when you train hard the little microfibres in your muscles (called mitochondria) actually break down, and when they rebuild they do so stronger. That's how you get stronger. But they can rebuild a lot better and quicker if they are given some time out every now and again.

Eat well

The same goes for what you eat. The microfibres will rebuild much faster if you feed your body well. Eating the right things, at least 70-80% of the time will ensure that you can recover well between sessions. Athletes and bodybuilders, or those with special dietary needs (suffering from diabetes for example), do need to take more care over the detail of their diet, but for regular, active people, good nutrition remains fairly simple. Eat regular meals and snacks, ideally consuming something every 3-4 hours. Lots of green leafy vegetables, fruit and meals consisting of protein, slow-release carbohydrates and vegetables.

•Lucy Fry is a journalist and published author as well as being a personal fitness trainer, boxing and kickboxing instructor