Thursday, September 11, 2008

Back in the Saddle Again

So is he sick of hanging around the Olson twin (whichever one it is) and going to Jonas Brothers concerts? Is it post Sheryl Crow traumatic disorder? Or just that he misses the competition and the joy of winning?

No matter what the reason, 7 time Tour de France winner, Lance Armstrong, is reportedly coming out of retirement.

Lance will be 37 next month. In cycling years that's like being a 45 year-old boxer or quarterback. Sure there was a 38 year-old that competed in this years Tour de France, but you didn't see him on the podium in Paris did you? And Lance isn't going to come out of retirement just to finish the TDF or even place second. He's coming out to try and win the thing.

No matter how you feel about Lance or how you think he will do, this is a good thing for cycling in this country. Americans, other than hardcore cyclists, haven't paid much attention to cycling since LA retired.

Of course he first has to get a team to let him ride for them - or start his own team from scratch. If he joins the existing team it will be as the leader so that could create some bad blood with the current leader/leaders of that team. If you starts his own team he needs to get enough good young riders to support him and convince the Tour officials (who have never seemed to care much for him) to let his team in. The rumor is he will ride for Astana. But Astana wasn't allowed to ride in this year's tour because of past problems with doping. I would guess the tour would have public relations nightmare if they didn't let Lance ride.

So we will get to see if a 37 year-old can win the tour next July. Stay tuned.


Roger said...

It'll be interesting to see if they allow him and his team, I'm assuming it will be Astana, in the race. Doesn't the head of the Tour have like a personal vendetta against Lance?

I heard Landis is going to try and come back next year also. I thought he was suspended for two years? They must have made that suspension retroactive, right?

Anyway, Lance will bring some much needed attention back to bicycle racing as long as he is contending, which I am sure he will be.

Rob said...

Here are a few quotes from the Tours head honcho

Race director Christian Prudhomme said Wednesday the door is open for Armstrong to compete in the 2009 Tour, but he was cool on the idea and stressed Armstrong must meet stringent new anti-doping standards to clear up the suspicions that dogged him throughout his career.

Prudhomme said Armstrong and his team must follow all the drug-testing rules "that are much more strict than they were before."

"If Lance Armstrong is at the start of the Tour de France, it will be the same thing for him and for his team, of course," he said. "I can't say anything else. There won't be any exceptions."

Landis suspension ends on Jan 30th of next year. He will be 34 by next years tour...getting up there in age. And so far he has only proved he can win when he cheats.

Yeah wether one likes Lance or not, the attention is good for cycling.