By Shane Stokes Lance Armstrong has confirmed that he will indeed be part of the peloton in 2009,...
By Shane Stokes
Lance Armstrong has confirmed that he will indeed be part of the peloton in 2009, citing cancer awareness as the motivation for an unlikely return to the sport. Winning an eighth Tour de France is the goal for the Texan, who will be 37 years of age on September 18.
"I am happy to announce that after talking with my children, my family and my closest friends, I have decided to return to professional cycling in order to raise awareness of the global cancer burden," he said in a statement released to The Associated Press. "This year alone, nearly eight million people will die of cancer worldwide. ... It's now time to address cancer on a global level."
Armstrong retired from the sport on the day he won a record seventh consecutive title in the Tour, and said at the time that he was done with professional racing. After running several marathons, he competed in the Leadville 100 mountainbike event in August, placing second there.
According to AP, Armstrongs aim will be success in the biggest race in cycling. The Tour "is the intention," his spokesman Mark Higgins said, "but we've got some homework to do over there."
"We're not going to try to win second place," said Bill Stapleton, Armstrongs lawyer.
Higgins said that the team he will ride with remains undecided, but Johan Bruyneel has said that if Armstrong does decide to come back, it will most likely be with Astana.
In an interview with Vanity Fair, Armstrong seemed rather more confident. "I'm going back to professional cycling. I'm going to try and win an eighth Tour de France."
When questioned over his age he said, "Ultimately, I'm the guy that gets up. I mean, I get up out of bed a little slow. I mean, I'm not going to lie. I mean, my back gets tired quicker than it used to and I get out of bed a little slower than I used to. But when I'm going, when I'm on the bike – I feel just as good as I did before."