Armstrong riding to support Astana teammate Leipheimer

The Associated PressMay 6, 2009 

Lance Armstrong will ride in support of Astana teammate Levi Leipheimer in the Giro d'Italia, saying he is not ready to contend for the title.

The seven-time Tour de France winner broke his collarbone in a crash in March and hopes to win at least one stage of the Giro, which begins Saturday in Venice, Italy.

"While at the beginning of the year my objective was to contend, with the crash I'm not sure I still can," Armstrong said Tuesday at a meeting with Italy's foreign minister, Franco Frattini, to back his campaign against cancer.

"Before that I was ahead of schedule. Now we're behind schedule. I have to go into the Giro knowing I'm not a contender for the overall. But we have a rider who is going for the overall, and I'll ride for him."

Armstrong helped Leipheimer win the Tour of the Gila in New Mexico last week.

Auctioning his bike: Armstrong plans to auction off his Giro d'Italia and Tour de France bikes, which will feature designs from artists including Shepard Fairey and Damien Hurst.

Armstrong has posted photos on his Twitter account of his bikes for the Giro. They feature an intricate yellow-and-black design by Fairey, who made the iconic Barack Obama poster.

"I collect his artwork," Armstrong said. "The bike that he did for this race I think is pretty stunning."

NBA great Dave Bing elected Detroit mayor

Businessman and professional basketball Hall of Famer Dave Bing has been elected Detroit's mayor and will serve through the end of the year.

The 65-year-old former Detroit Pistons great defeated incumbent and fellow Democrat Ken Cockrel Jr. on Tuesday in a special runoff election, 52.3 percent to 47.7 percent.

Bing will serve out Kwame Kilpatrick's second term but must run again in the regular Aug. 4 nonpartisan primary and win the Nov. 3 general election to hold onto the post for a full four years.

Boxer dies 5 days after Dallas fight

Boxer Benjamin Flores has died five days after he was hospitalized following a title bout with Al Seeger in a Dallas hotel.

Bout supervisor Bob Lenhardt says Flores, 25, died Tuesday at Parkland Hospital.

Referee Laurence Cole awarded the victory to Seeger in the eighth round of the North American Boxing Federation fight Thursday night.

Lleyton Hewitt notches 500th victory

Lleyton Hewitt became only the third active player on the ATP tour to reach 500 victories Tuesday when he saved two match points before beating Philipp Petzschner 6-2, 6-7 (2), 7-6 (8) in the opening round of the BMW Open in Munich.

Hewitt, the former No. 1 from Australia, is seeking to climb back into the top 10 after dropping to No. 55 following hip surgery.

Hewitt has a 500-170 career record with two major titles. The only two other active players with more than 500 wins are Roger Federer with 638 and Carlos Moya with 573.

Italian Open: Serena Williams lost to Patty Schnyder in her opening match at the Italian Open. The second-ranked Williams appeared to be moving with difficulty at times on the clay at Foro Italico, where Schnyder finished her 6-2, 2-6, 6-1 win at 1 a.m. local time today in Rome. The match started well after 11 p.m., as a rainstorm forced play to be suspended for 3 1/2 hours earlier.

Earlier, top-ranked Dinara Safina overcame a shaky start Tuesday to defeat Virginie Razzano of France 7-6 (1), 6-1 and reach the third round. Defending champion Jelena Jankovic also advanced.

Serbia Open: Janko Tipsarevic beat Sergio Roitman of Argentina 7-5, 6-2 Tuesday to set up a meeting with home favorite Novak Djokovic in the second round of the Serbia Open, the country's first ATP Tour tournament.

Estoril Open: Second-seeded Nikolay Davydenko rallied from two breaks down in the second set to beat Andrey Golubev 6-1, 7-6 (4) on Tuesday in the first round of the Estoril Open in Portugal.

In the women's event, second-seeded Maria Kirilenko beat Sharon Fichman 6-7 (8), 6-4, 6-3, and third-seeded Sorana Cirstea won 6-2, 1-6, 6-2 against Kimiko Date Krumm.

Nalbandian may need surgery: David Nalbandian of Argentina may need surgery on a right hip injury, which would keep him out of the French Open, Wimbledon and Argentina's Davis Cup quarterfinal against the Czech Republic in July.

Defending champion Manchester United advanced to the European Champions League final, winning 3-1 at Arsenal on Tuesday night in London as world player of the year Cristiano Ronaldo scored two goals and set up another.

Manchester United will play in the May 27 final at Rome against Chelsea or Barcelona.

Jessica Hardy has had her two-year suspension for a failed drug test reduced to one year, allowing her to return to competition this summer.

The American Arbitration Association issued its decision Monday, saying that a longer sanction would be disproportionate to the facts of the case. As a result, Hardy's suspension ends July 31.

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