Lance, Tour director Leblanc have 'good meeting'

Updated: July 22, 2006, 10:52 AM ET
Associated Press

MONTCEAU-LES-MINES, France -- Lance Armstrong and Tour de France race director Jean-Marie Leblanc took a step toward reconciliation Saturday, meeting on the Discovery Channel team bus.

Leblanc met the seven-time Tour winner, and the pair spoke for several minutes, said Discovery press spokesman P.J. Rabice.

"Both came off the bus smiling and shaking hands," said Rabice, who quoted Armstrong as saying "it was a good meeting."

Tuesday, Armstrong was very critical of Leblanc during a press conference.

"The problems and the tension there are so deep," Armstrong said Tuesday. "I'm just not very optimistic."

Last August, Leblanc said Armstrong had "fooled" the cycling world after French sports daily L'Equipe alleged he had taken the performance-enhancer EPO during the 1999 Tour -- his first win. The relationship worsened last October when Leblanc announced the 2006 Tour route in Paris, calling it an exciting time for cycling with Armstrong retired.

Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press