Lance Armstrong comes out of retirement for another tour of France


Austin (Texas). Lance Armstrong is back on his bike determined to win an eighth Tour de France.

Armstrong’s seven consecutive Tour de France victories after a successful battle with cancer made him a hero among cancer patients and helped elevate cycling to a new level in the United States.

The 36-year-old rider said in an exclusive interview with Vanity Fair (which had the first in Europe) that his decision is motivated by his second place last month in the Leadville 100, a grueling 160 KM mountain bike race through the rocky regions of Colorado. “That kind of obscure bike racing totally kickstarted my engine,” he told the magazine. And to add: “I will try to run and win an eighth Tour de France”

Sport in general and the tour in particular had still not mourned its star champion even if the most skeptical refuse to believe that he can win an eighth round without the aid of illicit substances or techniques.

The 2009 tour is the goal according to the statements of Mark Higgins spokesperson for Armstrong to Associated Press adding “but we still have a lot of work to do to get there”.

Christian Prudhomme did not respond to requests from journalists who wanted to obtain his comments on this announcement. His team says he won’t speak until Wednesday morning.
In a video statement posted on his foundation’s website, Armstrong gave the details. He said the team and plans will be announced Sept. 25 at the Clinton Global Initiative in New York City.

“I am pleased to announce after discussion with my children, family and closest friends my return to professional cycling to bring attention to the global burden of cancer,” Armstrong said in a statement to The Associated Press. “This year alone around eight million people will die of cancer worldwide. It’s time to deal with the problem of cancer on a global level”

In the Vanity Fair interview, Armstrong said he was 100% sure of participating in the next Tour de France.

“We’re not going to try to win second place,” said Bill Stapleton, Lance Armstrong’s lawyer and lifelong friend.

Last Monday VeloNews reported on its site that Armstrong will race with the Astana team led by Bruyneel, the tour and four other cycling tours – the Amgen tour of California, the Paris-Nice, the tour of Georgia and the Dauphiné liberated.

But there is no guarantee that Astana will be allowed to participate in the 2009 tour. The tour leaders ruled him out of the 2008 tour for previous doping cases.

If Armstrong and his team are not invited to the 2009 round, he plans to appeal directly to the President of the Republic Nicolas Sarkozy.

“I’ve already spoken to him on the phone about it,” he said. To be continued…

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