Lance Armstrong utilised the rest day at Australia's ProTour opener Tour Down Under to break ground at the site of the Flinders Centre for Innovation in Cancer. The centre's research wing will be named after Armstrong's charity Livestrong, which is focused on raising awareness for the disease.
"We are honoured that the new research laboratories within the Flinders Centre for Innovation in Cancer will be named the Livestrong Cancer Research Centre and provide a world-class home to more than 100 of Australia's leading cancer researchers," said Armstrong.
The $27 million facility's research wing will work on developing early diagnostics and new prevention technologies and strategies. South Australia's State Government has provided a $7.5 million commitment to the centre, plus committed some $5.2 million in annual operating costs.
Premier Mike Rann joined Armstrong at the ground-breaking ceremony. "Lance Armstrong is just as committed to his passion for helping to saving the lives of cancer survivors across the world as he was when he made his come-back to professional riding at the Tour Down Under last year," Rann said. "As a person who has so spectacularly returned to good health after surviving advanced testicular cancer, Lance is a powerful voice in raising awareness about the global cancer burden.
"Many cancers can be prevented - that is the message that Flinders researchers and this new centre will be sending the world," Rann said. "This is about doing what we can we employ every means possible to fight the global cancer epidemic."
The centre's design will be finalised over the next five months, while construction on the site is anticipated to begin by July. The building is expected to be completed around August 2011.