Lance Armstrong broke his calm when agitated by a heckler yesterday at the Tour of Luxembourg, his first race in Europe following accusations made by former team-mate Floyd Landis that he and his team-mates doped.

Following the final stage and a shower, Armstrong signed autographs outside the team RadioShack bus before leaving for his base near Nice, France. There, amongst nearly 100 fans, one person caught Armstrong’s ear, according to Belgian paper Het Nieuwsblad.

“Liar, cheat,” yelled a man from the fourth row of fans gathered. He repeated it three or four times, until the seven-time Tour de France winner broke his calm.

“Why don’t you say that right to my face,” Armstrong responded.

Police pulled the man out of the crowd while RadioShack general manager, Johan Bruyneel, took a photo of him.

“This may come in handy if he comes to the Tour,” said Bruyneel.

At the Tour de France, Armstrong could face more heckling, and not only from one man identified as a Frenchman. Last month while Armstrong raced the Tour of California, his former US Postal team-mate Landis made public his accusations that Armstrong doped during the time they raced together.

Armstrong spoke to the press and decidedly more supportive American fans in Visalia the morning before the fifth stage, in which he would crash and abandon.

“With regard to the specific allegations and the specific claims, they are not even worth getting into,” explained Armstrong. “I’m not going to waste your time or my time.”

Despite the recent troubles, Armstrong is showing some form ahead of next month’s Tour de France. He finished the Tour of Luxembourg third overall behind winner Matteo Carrara (Vacansoleil) and Fränk Schleck (Saxo Bank).

Though he left Luxembourg, he will remain in Europe through the start of the Tour de France, July 3. He will race the Tour de Suisse and recon some of the mountain stages.

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  • Orlando

    I`m not going to bust a gut trying to speculate who`s clean & who`s not. At the moment, the “game” is to race within certain parameters, and Lance has managed that so far. I cannot swear for anyone I don`t know personally, and I won`t swear for some of my friends either. LA coming back as an older athlete is making this Tour more exciting, and if he wins an 8th time, that`ll be great, I`m sure he`s as honest as Hinault, Indurain or Merkxx. Merkxx is everyone`s hero but he was caught doping – he actually has proven POSITVE, but I still admire him. I`m a very enthusiastic Triathlete, and have been beaten by several close friends who`re on the juice. It pisses me off, but there`s nothing I can do about it except rise above it. Can you all vouch for Contador? I personally hope Wiggo wins it. If and when cycling becomes squeaky clean, I`ll be delighted, but I still love this sport despite all of this. And I love this sport`s tainted heroes. They`re human & real. I`ll love them even more when they clean up.

  • Tom Knox

    Let these dopers cheat, I does not scare me! I am making a comeback. Although I am old and overweight, and at my best was a midpack rider, I have a plan. It involves a Ducati 848 and Jedi mind tricks. You ask “What if someone see through my Jedi mind tricks?” I will intimidate them by snapping their photo like my hero the “SMUG THUG” Bruyneel.
    Never mind, Forget the whole thing. I hear they are now checking bikes for motors. Funny thing, I bet Fabian will be even fast in July.
    How foolish, a motor hidden n the down tube, everyone know they are hidden in his thighs.

  • Robert

    There’s simply too much corroborating evidence against LA for he and Bruyneel to continue the charade. There’s Landis’ recent confession, the 1999 TdF samples that tested positive for EPO as reported by L’Equipe to mention only a couple. If the report done by L’Equipe had been done by a US based media outlet, LA would have had his seven TdF titles stripped and he would have been tried for fraud. But because it was done in France, of course its labelled as tabloid journalism by a jealous French nation.

    There’s a saying that says a disordered mind is its own punishment. The reality is LA has no peace of mind as evidenced by the outburst directed toward his tormentor. He is a young man and has a lot of years left to live with himself. The truth always comes out.

  • John Stone

    You have got to laugh at how this sport gets itself into such a mess, and there is now wonder why the general public just laugh at anyone connected with it . Team mates grassing up a fellow pro 9,10 years after the event, dear oh dear ! No wonder Armstrong cannot be bothered to answer such claims can you imagine the same in Football, Motor racing its a joke .
    Why dont the UCI re open all samples from Bobet, Anquetil,Hinault from way back when just in case – you can never be too sure.
    Electric Bikes now being allegedly used by Cancelarra …welcome to the next chapter :it will take a lifetime before this sport gets the credit it deserves for the sheer effort laid down by its participants.

  • Lionel Birnie

    Just to clarify the situation with regard to Bjarne Riis. In 2007 he admitted having used EPO for the 1996 Tour de France, which he won. He offered to return his yellow jersey, a gesture which Christian Prudhomme of ASO accepted. It is, of course, very unlikely any yellow jerseys changed hands.

    In 2007, Riis’s name was removed from the offical Tour de France records – including from the history book given to everyone who is working on the race in some capacity.

    However, in 2008, Riis’s name was returned and he was again listed as the 1996 winner but with an asterisk explaining that he had confessed to doping.

    The reason Riis has not, and cannot, be stripped officially of the 1996 Tour victory is because his confession fell outside the eight-year statute of limitations in the World Anti-Doping Agency code.

  • Matt

    @ Mike

    Riis wasn’t stripped of his 1996 yellow jersey.

  • Mike

    What you are sugesting, Elton, is that if you like/support a sportsman, like Lance, you should disregard any and all criticisim regardless of the source or posibility of wrong doing.
    I was a big fan of Ullrich untill his involvement in Puerto. He was implicated in cheating so I no longer had any time for him.
    Lance set himself up as the big white Knight of cycling, the Mr clean, but has been very quiet any time doping is raised. And Bruyneel taking a photo of the guy? talk about control freaks.

  • Reg

    What an odious pair Armstrong and Bruyneel are.

    Don’t they realise that having photographs on record of people is the sort of thing that the Stasi and KGB did?

    Everyone is entitled to their opinions and should be allowed to eloquate them in any manner.

    I wish I’d been there because I’d have gladly said it to Armstrongs face. What would he do, punch me?

  • Brian

    I feel so young. It’s like we are back to the times when doping was the acclaimed for bike racing. I will always be amazed by the support of the media to dopers (LA, Valverde…). It’s all about them in the press. LA has not won a race since his comeback but still… And the fact that he doped …is it supposed to be news??? Lol! Now ‘At the Tour de France, Armstrong could face more heckling, and not only from one man identified as a FRENCHMAN’ that is hilarious. C’mon it’s obvious that the jealous FRENCH are behind Landis’ confession and the US fed investigation. In short, LA and his henchman (Bruyneel) are ready for the Tour ladies and gentlemen: blackmail, liars, corruption, threats, intimidation, fear.

  • George

    I’ve said it before I’ll say it again. Everyone else who is implicated in drugs gets suspended. The tour is going to get dragged through the mud again . In 2006 ASO did the right thing what’s different?
    I hope landis is wrong but let’s face it no smoke without fire when we look back at drugs and cycling.
    Back then it was a level playing field as it always has been let’s hope that it is a level playing of a different kind now. So where there is doubt there is doubt.

  • Paul G

    Watch what you say… he might be taking notes on here as well…

  • Ben Smith

    I would not usually write on here, but..

    Who the hell does Bruyneel think hes is? Taking a photo! Whats he going to do with it?
    This just proves how team Lance operates, fear and intimidation to those who don’t agree with their programme.

  • Ken Evans

    Who needs dope when you have an electric motor !

  • Roger Stemple

    strongarm tactics as usual. Johan took a picture? its really a form of blackmail and fear.. to shut down all that would question him.. If you believe him innocent or not.. taking a pic.. having the police take you away.. threatening a fight.. hmmm.. that might just shut down any other fans who might oppose him.. or will this backfire? Maybe attacking works on other pros, governing bodies, but maybe not on the fans..

  • Mike

    Not surprising given the circumstances.
    What is going to hapen now?
    Riis was stripped of his Yellow jersey after being outed by an ex team member for doping, so what will the uci and the tour organizers do next., they cant just deny the claims have been made.

  • Elton Angle-smith

    Those loyal to Lance should have dragged this idiot away. He doesn’t need this right before the Tour, but I suppose Lance can take this crap on the chin like he always does. I believe in him I always have and I am sure he will still do very well in the Tour despite all this rubbish Floyd has thrown up….