Skip to main content

eBay Finds: Limited-edition Lance Armstrong Giro Atmos helmet

Lance Armstrong / Livestrong Limited Edition Helmet
(Image credit: bloods911 / eBay)

Any Lance Armstrong fans out there may well be interested in this small slice of history: a special-edition Giro Atmos helmet as worn by the American on the final day of the 2005 Tour de France, designed to celebrate what was then believed by many to be a seventh legitimate Tour victory.

You've made your mind up long ago as to whether you hate Armstrong for having part-masterminded what's often been described as one of the most sophisticated doping programmes in sporting history, or you love him for, I don't know, his resultant dominance, or something.

British cycling enthusiasts might even describe him as 'Marmite' – the word coined after the love-it-or-hate-it advertising campaign for the famous yeast-extract bread-spread, and indeed this yellow-and-black Giro Atmos helmet design mimics Marmite's 'corporate colours' perfectly.

But some fans are going to quite rightly point out the good Armstrong did for the cancer community during, and as a result of, his journey back to the top echelons of professional cycling following his own testicular-cancer battle – and the money subsequently raised by his Livestrong Foundation, and the hospital visits and messages of hope that came directly from Armstrong himself.

After retiring following his seventh Tour win in 2005, Armstrong's comeback in 2009 was partly fuelled by a desire to try to continue that fight against cancer.

"The most important issue is taking the global epidemic of cancer really to a much bigger stage," Armstrong told CNN at the time. "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 – that is the first priority." 

Whether some of that good work was later undone when he was exposed as a dope cheat is a conversation for another time, but he's still being talked about and written about, and so the question now is less whether you love him or hate him, but whether you're prepared to read about him at all.

Cyclingnews editor Daniel Benson recently wrote this piece about covering Armstrong as part of the website's 25th anniversary this year. It's recommended reading, even if you're not sure whether you really want to read it, as it gives a great insight into Armstrong's polarising nature when covering him from a media point of view. 

This eBay Find, then, is going to be polarising, too. Going by their comments, the Australia-based seller appears to have made their mind up where they stand – "Time to let go," they write in the listing – admitting that it was originally bought as a piece of memorabilia.

There's little doubt that this unworn helmet is indeed still a piece of memorabilia; it's now just a question of what memories you have of Armstrong's seven Tour de France victories.

We'll spare you the longer story about those seven wins having been taken away from him after the US Anti-Doping Agency's 'reasoned decision' – even before he admitted to Oprah Winfrey what he'd done in his own words in early 2013. You already know the story. But this helmet features decals celebrating those seven 'wins' from 1999-2005.

There'd already been a Texas Lone Star version of the helmet in patriotic red, white and blue, and this is a very similar design, but features a yellow star on a predominantly black background – the corporate colours of the Livestrong Foundation.

It's a nice-looking helmet, and this Giro Atmos model was great, both in this first design and its later second iteration. You've perhaps got to really love it to part with AU$900 (US$625 / £500) for this one, though.

We're constantly on the lookout for unique and rare cycling relics on eBay. If you have any suggestions or leads, please send them to cyclingnews@cyclingnews.com with 'eBay Finds' in the subject line.