Lance is back!

[quote]Lance Armstrong is ready to swear off the chips and salsa, climb back on the bike and win an eighth Tour de France. Three years after retiring, the 36-year-old says he’ll return to competition and the Tour de France in 2009 . . .

Citing the slow pace of last year’s Tour and the rush from last month’s Leadville 100 race, Armstrong decided it was time to return.

“This kind of obscure bike race, totally kick-started my engine,” he told Vanity Fair in an exclusive interview, referring to the lung-searing 100-mile mountain bike race through the Colorado Rockies. “I’m going to try and win an eighth Tour de France.”

. . . Professional cycling and particularly the Tour have missed Armstrong’s star power, even though skeptics refused to believe he could win without the help of illegal performance-enhancing drugs.

This time, Armstrong’s determined to silence the doubters and try to prove he really is clean.

He’s even hired a video crew to chronicle his training for 2009, as well as his drug tests, for a possible documentary.

“There’s this perception in cycling that this generation is now the cleanest generation we’ve had in decades, if not forever,” said Armstrong, who’s never tested positive. “And the generation that I raced with was the dirty generation. … So there is a nice element here where I can come with really a completely comprehensive program and there will be no way to cheat.”

. . . Diagnosed in 1996 with testicular cancer that had spread to his lungs and brain, doctors gave Armstrong less than a 50 percent chance of survival. Surgery and brutal cycles of chemotherapy saved his life.

From there, it was determination and powerful self-discipline that led him back to the bike and his stunning 1999 Tour win.

Armstrong’s goal every year was to win the Tour, and he dominated the Pyrenees and Alps like no other rider ever had. . .

Armstrong will be 37 next week. Only one rider older than 34 has ever won the Tour — 36-year-old Firmin Lambot in 1922. And Armstrong wasn’t impressed by the crop of younger riders in the 2008 Tour.

“It’s not a secret. I mean, the pace was slow,” he told Vanity Fair.

Armstrong noted other athletes in his age range competing at a high level, specifically 41-year-old Olympic medalist swimmer Dara Torres and 38-year-old Olympic women’s marathon champion Constantina Tomescu-Dita, of Romania.

“Ask serious sports physiologists and they’ll tell you age is a wives’ tale,” he said. . . [/quote] … gD933LHGG0

the drugs have finally left his system, so he can go back to the drug testers with a clean bill of health…

good luck. he will be a target, but the smart riders may actually ignore him. at least he is planning on racing a few races this coming year, unlike his previous efforts where he ONLY raced the TdF. he probably needs the races as endurance training.

Doped or clean, racing for personal reasons or to raise cancer awareness, I still can’t stand him…

Having said that, the Tour desperately needs someone with a bit of star power. I can’t think of any rider in this year’s Tour who impressed me in a positive way, though some were “positive”…

Can’t even remember the winner this year…

Why do you hate him?

He completely dominated the sport. He came back from cancer and completely dominated the sport.

He wasn’t a whiner like Greg LeMond, as far as I know, but accepted his fate with grace and humility.

Is it because of his serial dating of various celebrities?

Or because he uses more water than any other resident of Austin, a ridiculous amount, to keep his lush landscaping green, during a serious drought?

What’s to hate? I find him to be very impressive (except for the water thing) and a great role model as athletes go.

I don’t hate him.
I don’t know, he just rubs me the wrong way, I guess.

Then tell him the right way to rub you. If you don’t tell him, he’ll never know.

Wow! Lance is back. Does he need the money? Perhap he’s broke - has Don King been managing his finances?

This’ll be interesting. Lance seems to be a love him or hate him kind of person - personally I’m a fan.

If he previously doped, he was still quicker than everyone considering most of the top 10 from that era have tested positive at some stage. If he was clean, then he’s a freak. Whatever, it’s entertaining.

I wonder if he’ll be joining Astana with Johan Bruyneel, and if so, how will that work with Contador’s hopes for the next TdF?

Bored, I’m sure. Cycling is what he does. It’s been his life for decades and he’s only 37 years old. Hanging out, watching TV, eating pizza and drinking beer, and boinking celebrities are all fine and good. But I would imagine it’s been very painful for him for the past three years every time he watches a race or hears the results, heck even just enjoying a beautiful sunny day when he knows he should be out on his bike, to realize now he’s just an average slob sitting on the sideline.

He has been spending the past few years running marathons, entering mountain bike races and making fitness DVDs with Matt McConaghy, so he’s probably in better shape than anyone here.

he was indeed a successful TdF racer, but that’s IT. he did not race the whole season, he did not race any other grand tours (the Giro, the Vuelta). he was an arsehole personality-wise, very focussed on winning only one race. he trained exclusively for the TdF, and his team composition was established solely for supporting Lance in the TdF, so it’s not surprising that he did win a few times. but his team had enormous financial resources, and it’s a bit like Manchester United against Brompton Wanderers… Brompton could be number one, but only with a LOT more money behind them.

he pales into insignificance next to Indurain or Merckx, or Fausto Coppi, or Beppi Sarroni. They won almost on their own, unsupported at times. even LeMond was a better all rounder than Armstrong. and so what if LeMond criticises people: they usually deserve it, and he is not scared to tell the emperor he has no clothes on. Armstrong also criticised peole left right and centre, and could not stand the scrutiny that was turned on him, from the European press… he claimed it was a witch hunt when in fact there were rather a lot of unanswered questions regarding his medical history, his choices of doctors and trainers and his training schedule, his careful race scheduling to avoid out-of-season drug testing, etc. when regulations in that area were tightened, he dropped out of racing. then he denied all knowledge of positive EPO results from his stored blood samples when they were tested, initially blindly, to baseline the new EPO drug testing technique. when positive results were found, curious lab staff back tracked the numbering of the blinded samples and discovered that many of them came, surprise surprise, from the winner of the TdF during years when EPO was illegal but not sufficiently tested for…

another thing that galls me is the american media sycophantic sucking up to the team and the manufactured legend. he capitalised on the american media’s hatred of things French, to mount his own campaing of derision and counter rumour to discredit the very reputable sports newspaper that actuaqlly started the tour all those years ago… so much for balance, gratitude and the earning of respect.

i would have more respect for the man if he raced more, in more open circumstances, and said less. far less.

uro, just tell him to rub you in the right way this time… :stuck_out_tongue:

I think the full details are being announced next week (Sep 24 to be exact). I would be surprised if he joins Astana as that team already has a Tour de France winner, Alberto Contador. I suspect Armstrong may launch a new team of which he will be the leader. He shouldn’t find it difficult to attract sponsors.

I remember reading in a sports article on physiology or something that Lance Armstrong is somewhat of a freak as cf mentioned. His muscle makeup isn’t like that of other human beings. Something about his legs having a lot more fast-twitch muscles good for sprints as well as the slow-twitch for endurance.

I forgot all the details but it always stuck in my mind that he’s a unique physical specimen.

It’s now official that Lance will ride for the Astana team. He also announced that he will ride the Tour Down Under in Australia.

No surprises that he’s going to Astana.

But you’ve got to feel for Contador. Wins the TdF in 2007, unfairly (IMO) excluded from this years TdF, wins in the Giro and the Vuelta (only the 5th rider in history to win all three) and now he’s going to have LA as a teammate in 2009. Contador deserves to be the one going for the TdF win, but can anyone really see LA taking a support role?

well, rumours abound among pro cyclists that it’s all a gambit to get Astana admitted back into the TdF, and that he won’t actually race the TdF but will leave that to Contador. he will develop a sore butt or whatever during the Dauphine.

any which way, Trek are so happy…

[quote=“Paul Kimmage”]
This guy, … his bullying and intimidation wrapped up in this great cloak, the great cancer martyr … this is what he hides behind all the time. The great man who conquered cancer. Well he is the cancer in this sport. And for two years this sport has been in remission. And now the cancer’s back." [/quote]

read more about Kimmage’s viewpoint on the return of the ‘great’ lance here

Kimmage was an Irish racer who made it onto the Slipstream team this year, and will be a media man next year…

Good article about a guy who kicked Lance’s butt. :bravo:

Dave Wiens, 44, won the Leadville 100 mountain bike endurance race six times, most recently beating seven-time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong.

[quote] This is the man who made Lance Armstrong cry “uncle.”

On a recent weekday morning here 7,700 feet up in the Rocky Mountains, with his wife already at work, David Wiens fed and packed up his three sons and cajoled them to get out the door to school, prepared for some volunteer work and hoped to maybe squeeze in an hourlong bike ride before rushing off to pick up the children in the afternoon.

A day later, Wiens, a 44-year-old Denver native, will be catching passes for his flag football team. And soon, when the snow hits, he will stop riding altogether until spring. Instead, he will ski most days, when he is not playing on his recreational league hockey team.

“I try to make fitness part of everyday life,” Wiens said. Like his wife, the Olympic bronze medalist Susan DeMattei, Wiens was a professional mountain biker until he retired from the circuit four years ago. Now he races just a few times a year to stay in shape . . .

The 100-mile race is brutal, starting at 10,200 feet, climbing at one point to 12,600 feet and covering a total of 14,000 feet of climbs.

The two men worked together for most of the race, taking turns in the lead, which put them 20 minutes ahead of the rest of the pack. In a scene they described afterward, Wiens moved aside with about 10 miles to go to let Armstrong take the lead as they headed onto an uphill trail. This time, however, Armstrong told Wiens: “No. Go. I’m done.”

Wiens, known to cheer on competitors even midrace, replied: “No. Come on.”

“Go,” Armstrong said.

“I didn’t ask him twice,” Wiens recalled recently, and he rode away from Armstrong, though not completely.

Wiens went on to break his own record, set last year, by finishing in of 6 hours 45 minutes 45 seconds. He has won the Leadville Trail 100 six years in a row.

Armstrong, who finished nearly two minutes behind him, said he had never in his career told another cyclist he was done during a race.

“At that stage, it’s pretty much who has the strongest diesel engine is going to win, and he just powered away,” Armstrong said.

It turned out to be a race with worldwide implications. Armstrong soon said he had gotten that racing itch again and intended to stage a comeback. He wants to race the Tour again — and maybe have a rematch with Wiens at Leadville . . .

“Everyone in biking knew Dave before,” said Ken Chlouber, the founder and president of the Leadville Trail 100 race series, which includes other bike races and runs. “He’s a plain, down-home, nice person who happens to be an off-the-chart athlete. But now, he’s the giant killer.” . . .

Wanting to pursue his outdoor passions, Wiens went to Western State College in Gunnison in 1982, all the better to be close to great white water and ski terrain. It would take him six years, with time off here and there to try his luck at ski and kayak racing, to graduate.

In 1986, he got his first mountain bike — a 1985 Specialized Stumpjumper . . . Over 16 years, Wiens built a steady, if not stellar, career, winning two World Cup series races, finishing third in a World Cup final, and as recently as 2004, winning a United States Cycling National Championship in a 65-mile race.

“If you were to name a top 10 of mountain biking legends in the United States, he’d be on the list of important characters,” said Neal Rogers, the managing editor of VeloNews, the biking magazine.

That is why Wiens was inducted into the Mountain Biking Hall of Fame in Crested Butte, Colo., in 2000, three years after his wife was inducted . . .[/quote] … ref=slogin

Well, he’s off to a modest start. Should be interesting to see how he does this week.

[quote]January 19, 2009
Armstrong back in saddle Down Under

Lance Armstrong made a cautious return to professional cycle racing Sunday, finishing 64th among 133 riders in a 30-mile criterium in downtown Adelaide, Australia.

More than 138,000 people watched Armstrong return from three years of retirement and begin a campaign to win his eighth Tour de France title.

He stayed well back in a tight field throughout Sunday’s race, following team instructions to avoid any chance of crashing. Armstrong will compete in the six-day Tour Down Under, which starts Tuesday.

“That was fun,” said Armstrong, 37. "It felt good. I’ve been training a lot for this comeback and this race. It’s good the first day is over and now I can get into the racing.

“There was a lot of anxiety before today but it was good for the first day.”[/quote] … 5406.story