eBay finds: Lance Armstrong replica Trek 5500 OCLV

We've been scouring the web for retro bike deals and found this Trek 5500 OCLV US Postal replica bike for sale on eBay. 

The bike, dating to 1999, was raced by the US Postal Service team during the 1999 Tour de France, and saw Lance Armstrong take the overall 'win' after the squad ran "the most sophisticated, professionalized and successful doping program that sport has ever seen", in the words of the United States Anti-Doping Agency.

The title was stripped following the conclusion of the investigation into the team's practises in 2012, and numerous other members of the team got bans to go with Armstrong's lifetime ban.

The bike, which will set you back £4,995 ($6,128) and comes with free postage to any destination around the world, is a full replica of the ones US Postal rode that year and has been built up from scratch.

The 52cm traditional geometry frame, which is decked out in the US Postal paint scheme, is full carbon, as are the forks. Shimano's Dura-Ace 7700 9-speed groupset (53-39 at the front and likely 12-27 at the back) is also of the time period.

The wheels, laid out in a curious 14-spoke front and 16-spoke rear setup, are Rolf Vector Pros with tubular tyres. Finishing touches include Cinelli 101 stem and handlebars.

Armstrong had won the 1999 Tour with the bike in a dominant fashion, taking the victory at all three time trials at the race along the way, to beat Alex Zülle by 7:37 in Paris. He also dominated the first mountain stage at Sestrières, a feat so curious for a supposed non-climber that there was laughter in the press room.

The next day, on the road to Alpe d'Huez, Armstrong famously intimidated Christophe Bassons after the French rider had written newspaper columns about the race's high speeds and how the American had shocked the peloton with his performances.

The Frenchman left the race a day later after being shunned by the rest of the peloton, including his own team, as well as race director Jean-Marie Leblanc.

Armstrong failed four tests for corticosteroids during the race, though was let off by the UCI after producing a backdated therapeutic use exemption certificate. Several of his frozen urine samples were retested in 2005 and found positive for EPO, though an independent report later cleared Armstrong due to improper handling of samples at the laboratory in question.

Armstrong's Tour 'win' was rescinded in 2012, along with six others, but the bike still remains. The 5500 OCLV looks to be in mint condition, and a top purchase for anyone looking to invest in a piece of cycling's dubious history.

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