In his strongest comments yet about next year's Tour de France, Lance Armstrong says he is unsure if he will ride in cycling's showcase event because he'd like to compete in other races.
Armstrong, who won a record sixth straight Tour de France this year, said in yesterday's L'Equipe that it is "time to move on to other things." He has previously been somewhat evasive about whether he will return in 2005.
"Honestly, I don't know if I will be at the start of the next Tour," he told the sports newspaper. "There are a lot of other things I would like to do in cycling before retiring. So I tell myself 2005 could be a good year to do these" other races.
* SOCCER: Denmark snapped the U.S. women's soccer team's 21-game unbeaten streak, defeating the Americans, 3-1, in an exhibition match in Philadelphia.
"They're a very good team," U.S. captain Julie Foudy said. "It reminds us that the world is getting better and it makes our accomplishments more sweet."
Marete Pedersen scored two goals for Denmark. . . .
Chelsea became the new Premier League leader when it beat Everton, 1-0, while Arsenal was held to a 1-1 tie at Crystal Palace.
Chelsea won on Arjen Robben's 72nd-minute goal and moved two points ahead of Arsenal. Chelsea (9-1-2) now has 29 points; defending champion Arsenal has 27. Everton is next at 23, followed by Bolton at 21.
* TENNIS: Marat Safin overcame a twisted right ankle to reach the Paris Masters final for the fourth time in six years by beating 13th-seeded Guillermo Canas, 6-2, 7-6 (7-5).
Safin, the Paris champion in 2000 and 2002, will meet qualifier Radek Stepanek for the title. Stepanek came back to beat Max Mirnyi, 3-6, 7-6 (7-1), 6-4, to get to the first ATP Tour final of his career. . . .
Top-seeded Amelie Mauresmo advanced to the Advanta Championships final in Villanova, Pa. after reigning Wimbledon champion Maria Sharapova withdrew from their semifinal match with a strained right shoulder. Mauresmo will take on sixth-seeded Vera Zvonareva, who defeated seventh-seeded Nadia Petrova, 6-3, 7-6 (7-2).
* FIGURE SKATING: World champion Shizuka Arakawa of Japan won her first NHK Trophy after a second-place finish in the free program in Nagoya, Japan.
Johnny Weir won the men's short program earlier in the day as American men swept the top three positions. Timothy Goebel was second, followed by Michael Weiss.
* BASEBALL: A Louisville Slugger signed by "Shoeless" Joe Jackson sold for $137,500 at a memorabilia auction held at the museum where the bats are made.
Cracked on the handle and worn on the barrel, the bat, made in 1910 or 1911, has Jackson's signature along the hitting area in bold ink. An unidentified private collector made the purchase.
* OBITUARY: Two-time welterweight champion Jimmy McLarnin died Oct. 28. He was 96. McLarnin, a member of Canada's Sports Hall of Fame and the International Boxing Hall of Fame, died at an assisted living home in Richland, Wash.
-- From News Services