- Article published:
- September 15, 2008, 0:00 BST
- Paul Verkuylen and James Huang
By Paul Verkuylen and James Huang Lance Armstrong's plans to return to the professional peloton in...
By Paul Verkuylen and James Huang
Lance Armstrong's plans to return to the professional peloton in 2009 may be broader than he originally indicated. Speaking shortly after winning the 12 Hours of Snowmass, his second bike race in three years, the Texan revealed that he is planning on racing all over the world, including Australia and South Africa, in an attempt to increase the global awareness of his Lance Armstrong Foundation.
"The most important issue is taking the global epidemic of cancer really to a much bigger stage," he explained. "The best way to do that is to race the bike all over the world. So you race in Australia, South Africa, South America, Europe, America, um... that is the first priority."
Initially it was rumoured that Armstrong's return would see him ride just five events: the Tour of California, Paris-Nice, Tour de Georgia, Dauphiné Libéré and Tour de France. Now it seems that his return may see him race in events such as the Tour Down Under, in Adelaide, Australia.
"What's important is that we take the Livestrong message to all the other countries in Europe, all the other continents around the world, that's the most important thing," he continued. "At the end of the day, as I've said, we've had an impact in Texas, we've had an impact in the US and I think we'll have an impact around the world.
"If people can't sit back and appreciate that and applaud it, I don't know what they're going to applaud. That's my first priority," he added.
Just which team Armstrong will race for in the new season is still a mystery. Astana would be the obvious choice, due to the connection with former Discovery Channel manager Johan Bruyneel, but it would be a tough call to ask Alberto Contador and Levi Leipheimer to step aside for Armstrong to take over the reigns. The Texan is remaining tight-lipped about whether he will ride alongside the...