ADELAIDE, Australia - Riding in 103-degree heat and in wind that felt like a blast furnace, Lance Armstrong returned to professional cycling and was a long way from his champagne-sipping triumphs in Paris.
The seven-time Tour de France champion finished 120th of 133 riders Tuesday in the six-day Tour Down Under, his first road stage in three years.
Still, Armstrong said he felt "pretty good, pretty strong" for his first day back at work.
"It's nice to get one under way, and (today's) another hard day," Armstrong said.
"I want to take it day by day, but I think the early indications are that I feel pretty good, pretty strong."
Germany's Andre Greipel, the winner of last year's race, won the first stage by a bike length in a bunched finish. Taking time bonuses into account, he will carry an 11-second lead into today's 90-mile second stage.
The race, the first of the 2009 ProTour, ends Sunday.