Lance Armstrong has confirmed that he will be joined by long-time Directeur Sportif Johan Bruyneel at Team RadioShack. In comments reported by American wire service Bloomberg on Tuesday, Armstrong, in Dublin, Ireland for a Livestrong-sponsored world cancer summit, said that the Belgian would be part of the new team when it begins racing next year. At the same time the seven-time Tour de France winner failed to rule out the possibility of former U.S. Postal teammate Floyd Landis joining RadioShack.
"[Johan] Bruyneel is a master at acquiring guys and building the best teams," said Armstrong, according to Bloomberg. "He'll be there."
Bruyneel, who remains under contract with Astana until the end of next year, will need to seek a release from the contract in order to take up a position with Team RadioShack. "[Bruyneel's] release has got to be negotiated," Astana's Press Officer Philippe Maertens told Bloomberg. "It's not clear how long this will take. It could be a few days, a week or longer."
Despite his certainty over Bruyneel's participation in the RadioShack start-up Armstrong remained cagey when it came to another former colleague: Floyd Landis. The Texan would not deny the possibility of the two riding together once more.
"I wouldn't rule anything out," Armstrong said. "[Floyd Landis] is a great rider, a tremendous story."
Landis rode alongside Armstrong at U.S. Postal for three of the Texan's Tour de France wins. Landis left the team to join Phonak, where he was stripped of his own Tour de France title after a positive test for testosterone in 2006, the year after Armstrong's initial retirement.
Armstrong returned to professional cycling this year with Astana after a three-year retirement. He finished third overall at this year's Tour de France after a tense battle with teammate and eventual Tour champion, Alberto Contador.
Armstrong has admitted to being under-prepared for this year's Tour de France, but acknowledged on Tuesday that Contador was the world's best rider and would be the difficult to beat. However, he was confident that he would be stronger next season as he seeks to extend his record for overall Tour de France wins.
"I should be a bit better than I was this year on the bike," said Armstrong. "With a year under my belt, I'll come back stronger."
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