Oprah 'surprised' by Armstrong interview

Oprah Winfrey has revealed Lance Armstrong did not come clean in the way she had expected him to in her interview with the disgraced cyclist.

The Texan was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles by the International Cycling Union last year after the United States Anti-Doping Agency found he had been at the heart of "the most sophisticated, professionalised and successful doping programme that sport has ever seen".

"I would say (Lance Armstrong) did not come clean in the manner I had expected. It was surprising to me," talk show host Winfrey told the CBS This Morning programme.

The first part of the Armstrong interview on the 'Oprah' show is due to be broadcast at 9pm local time on Thursday (2am GMT on Friday).

Winfrey said she was "satisfied" with Armstrong's answers during her interview, which will be aired over two nights because of its length. She said she was "mesmerised and riveted" by some of his answers.

Winfrey thought the entire interview was difficult for the Texan and said he was "emotional" during it. But she said Armstrong "certainly had prepared himself". She added: "I feel he answered the questions in a way that (suggested) he was ready.

Asked if Armstrong was contrite during the interview, Winfrey said: "I choose not to characterise. I would rather people make their own decisions about whether he was contrite or not. I felt that he was thoughtful, I thought that he was serious, I thought that he certainly had prepared himself for this moment. I would say that he met the moment."

Winfrey revealed no lawyers had been allowed at the interview at her request, although Armstrong did have a team of people in the room. She added that at one point Armstrong asked her: "Will there be a point where you lighten up?"

Nicole Cooke, the 2008 Olympic and world road race champion, claimed 41-year-old Armstrong would never be able to atone for his tainted past.

Cooke, who retired from the sport yesterday, told Press Association Sport: "He will never give back the careers and the opportunities and the dreams that were stolen from so many people. It's outrageous, everything that he's done. The bullying, everything else."