Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Lance coming out of retirement ...

This sounds like it's more or less official ....

"AUSTIN, Texas — Lance Armstrong is getting back on his bike, determined to win an eighth Tour de France.

Armstrong's return from cancer to win the Tour a record seven consecutive times made him a hero to cancer patients worldwide and elevated cycling to an unprecedented level in America.

The 36-year-old Armstrong told Vanity Fair in an exclusive interview posted on its Web site today that he was inspired to return after finishing second last month in the Leadville 100, a lung-searing 100-mile mountain bike race through the Colorado Rockies.

"This kind of obscure bike race, totally kick-started my engine," he told the magazine. "I'm going to try and win an eighth Tour de France."

The sport and particularly the Tour have missed his star power, even though skeptics refused to believe he could win seven Tours without the help of illegal performance-enhancing drugs.

The 2009 Tour "is the intention," Armstrong's spokesman Mark Higgins told The Associated Press, "but we've got some homework to do over there."

Tour director Christian Prudhomme did not return messages seeking comment on Armstrong's decision. His staff said he would not comment before Wednesday morning, if at all.

Armstrong's close friend and longtime team director, Johan Bruyneel, now with team Astana, sent a text message to an AP reporter in Paris saying he did not want to comment now.

In a video statement on his foundation's Web site, Armstrong said details — such as a team and schedule — will be announced Sept. 24 at the Clinton Global Initiative in New York City."


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