Armstrong twitters up Dublin bike ride

DUBLIN: Lance Armstrong was joined by some 1,000 Irish cycling fans in Dublin on Tuesday after the US bike legend used Twitter to invite them for an impromptu mass ride in the city's Phoenix Park.

Taking time out from a cancer conference the seven-time Tour de France winner posted a message on his Twitter page at 10:00am asking people to join him for a cycle later in Europe's largest park on the outskirts of Dublin.

His tweet read: "Good morning Dublin. Who wants to ride this afternoon? I do. 5:30pm ù the roundabout of Fountain Rd and Chesterfield Ave (in the park). See you there."

In a second late afternoon tweet the 37-year-old added: "I've decided it's too nice and sunny (perfect) to ride. I think I'll just sit around. Kidding!! On my way to phoenix park. Hell yeah."

In Scotland last week Armstrong posted a similar tweet and hundreds turned up to join him on a cycle around Paisley, outside Glasgow, although it was raining. On Tuesday the sun shone on the Irish capital.

Armstrong is in Dublin for a three-day global cancer summit organised by his Livestrong Foundation which he set up while battling cancer to help support for people affected by the disease.

The summit has been told that it is estimated there will be 12.9 million new cancer cases globally this year and the number will rise to 16.8 million in 2020 and 27 million in 2030.

The 1,762-acre (712-hectare) Phoenix Park is the biggest urban enclosed park in Europe.

It contains the official residence of President Mary McAleese, police headquarters, Dublin's Zoo, the US ambassador's residence and parkland where Pope John Paul II said mass to over a million people when he visited the country in 1979.