MONTELIMAR, France – Six-time Tour de France (search) winner Lance Armstrong (search) believes Paris has an excellent bid for the 2012 Olympics, but he is rooting for New York City, "the bid of my heart."
"If I were on the selection committee, I would be rolling for New York City," Armstrong said Thursday. "Because of its stature in the world and the fact that it's one of the most influential, beautiful cities in the world."
Moscow, Madrid and London also are competing for the games. The host city will be determined by the International Olympic Committee (search) in July.
Armstrong appeared to back Paris just as the IOC began assessing the French capital on Wednesday, when he also pulled out of the Paris-Nice cycling race with a sore throat.
Paris would be "outstanding," said Armstrong, and "deserves the Olympics." He added: "If (New York) don't win in 2012, they could win in 2016."
The remarks drew a sarcastic howl from the New York Post, which called Armstrong a "turncoat bicyclist" and "the Weasel on Two Wheels."
Armstrong reaffirmed his support for New York on Thursday from Girona, Spain, where he trains.
"I don't want to change a word of what I said about Paris yesterday. I do think that Paris has an excellent bid, but I also think that all of the cities have excellent bids," he said.
But, he added, "New York City is the bid of my heart."
He said he formally reaffirmed his support for New York in a conversation with Deputy Mayor Dan Doctoroff.
"New York is the greatest city in the world. Everybody agrees on that," Armstrong said.