Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Lance is back!

Well, it is official! I have heard rumors about Lance coming back to race professionally for a few days but never could find anything confirming it was true until late last night. Then when I check my email this morning, I got an email from Lance himself (I am sure it was a mass email to all members of the LIVESTRONG Army) saying he was going to get back on the bike and race again this coming year. He still hasn’t announced what team he will be riding for but I predict it will be with either Team Astana, where his former Director Johan Bruyneel is now, or one of the American teams, Team Columbia or Garmin Chipolte. There are guys on both of those teams that used to ride with him on Team Discovery and I am sure each of those teams would love to have him. He is supposed to announce his team and his race schedule in a couple of weeks.

I think this is a good thing on many different levels. First, it will allow Armstrong to get back to competing professionally. He has tried to do other things to feed his competitive nature like running marathons and doing charity races, but those don’t seem to compare to professional cycling at the highest level. Second, it will raise cancer awareness on a global level and increase the funds for cancer research. According to Lance himself, this is the main reason for his comeback, to raise awareness of the global cancer burden. Thirdly, he feels that a comeback will end all of the suspicions of doping that has followed him throughout his career. Fourthly, this comeback will keep Lance focused on cycling and not allow him the time to date all of the Hollywood starlets! I mean seriously, he was involved with way to many movies and music stars since he retired! So this comeback is going to be great for cycling, for cancer awareness and for keeping Lance out of the tabloids!

Armstrong turns 37 later this month and if he is able to pull off a win in the 2009 Tour de France, he would not only have 8 victories in the hardest race in the world, he would be the oldest winner in history. He has said his main goal is to win an 8th Tour de France, bring cancer research to a new level, and change the image of cancer survivors. He is going to race for free and will not accept a salary. He will give all of his earnings to his foundation for cancer research and plans to post all of his drug test results online so everyone can see that he is clean. Also, there is going to be film crews with him during his training to document his regimen and film his drug tests to further end any speculation of cheating. I am excited that he is coming back as I am sure most of the cycling world is too. But I am sure some of the other riders secretly hate the idea, as are the French. They hate Lance or any American dominating their favorite sport. So I would expect the scrutiny on him during next years tour to be at an all time high! Also, the interest in the sport is going to be back to an all time high as well! I just hope he plans on riding in the Tour de Georgia in April.

Welcome back Lance!

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