Disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong could be warming to an unofficial challenge from Australian triathlon star Chris McCormack.
Armstrong was aiming to race at last year’s Hawaiian Ironman triathlon world championships when he was banned from all organised sport for life because of doping offences.
The retired professional cyclist was also stripped of his record seven Tour de France titles.
But McCormack, a two-time winner at Hawaii, is keen to organise a one-on-one private race against the Texan that would not have any sanctioning.
Armstrong’s Twitter post on Tuesday suggested he is open to the idea.
Hey @MaccaNow – if you’re serious then gimme a call. Let’s discuss.
— Lance Armstrong (@lancearmstrong) December 2, 2013
The Twitter post came a day after a video interview with McCormack was posted on the Triathlete Magazine website.
“Lance has done some horrible things and some amazing things athletically,” McCormack said.
“You know, he’s still a competitor, and I’ve always been inspired by racing competitors.
“I read an interview recently, where he believed he could win the Ironman world championships.
“I’m like `hey man, you can’t go and make those sorts of statements without backing them up – so if you really think you can win the Ironman world championships, come and race me.
“Let’s go to the back of Austin (Armstrong’s home town) – you and me – no-one around and let’s race.”
McCormack is one of Australia’s most successful – and outspoken – triathletes and won Hawaii in 2007 and ’10.
He missed this year’s edition in October because of glandular fever.
The former world Olympic-distance triathlon champion has moved to Thailand, where he is executive chairman of a Phuket sports resort.
McCormack, 40, plans to keep competing next year in official triathlons.