Lance Armstrong takes second place on triathlon return

Lance Armstrong marked his return to competitive sport by finishing second in a half ironman event in Panama.

The seven-time Tour de France winner, who retired from professional cycling last year, clocked three hours, 50 minutes and 55 seconds.

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I like to suffer a bit and today was a little over the top, but it's great to be back

Lance Armstrong

The triathlon in Panama City comprised a 1.9km swim, 90km cycle and 21km run. Armstrong wants to qualify for October's world championships.

"I need a challenge in my life," he said. "I need some stuff to do."

The 40-year-old American, who has battled against testicular, brain and lung cancer, was leading the event going into the final leg.

He eventually finished 32 seconds behind New Zealander Bevan Docherty, who won triathlon gold at the 2004 Olympics in Athens.

"I like to suffer a bit and today was a little over the top, but it's great to be back," said Armstrong, who plans to compete in June's Ironman France