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Australian cyclist Cadel Evans has scoffed at suggestions from Lance Armstrong that the seven-time Tour de France winner's safety could be at risk if he returns to the race.
Armstrong is embarking on a comeback after a three-year absence but insists he's still undecided about a return to one of the world's biggest sporting events as he wrangles with organisers.
He has said anger in France over doping allegations and his singular approach to the Tour could place him in at risk of attack along the route.
"That's just talk," Evans told AAP on Thursday.
"It's the same for all of us.
"With cycling you're right there and people get bottles thrown at them and they can hear the riders talking as the peloton passes.
"That's what makes cycling attractive to spectators but at the same time also for us as riders.
"Sometimes we'd prefer to have a little bit of distance and a little bit of privacy and so-on as well.
"You're certainly very close to the crowd and maybe Lance has fears about that but he never had any problems in the last seven years I don't think."
Evans himself is no stranger to controversy on the route of the Tour after several blow-ups with officials and members of the media.
Ironically, he hired Armstrong's former bodyguard, Serge Borlee, for the 2008 race, a move he said sometimes backfired.
"Sometimes it's a help and sometimes it brings too many TV cameras to be honest," he said.
"Just having someone there to talk to for the whole Tour who's not a bike rider, in that respect I liked having it but he brings a fair bit of media attention to us."