Team Astana announces 'Ride For Livestrong' campaign

By BikeRadar

The Astana Cycling Team announced its support for the Lance Armstrong Foundation's Livestrong Global Cancer Campaign during the team's training camp in Santa Rosa, California, introducing its Ride For Livestrong web site, the team's season-long effort to connect cycling fans around the world to the global fight against cancer.

"Through Ride For Livestrong, Team Astana is encouraging the international cycling community to get involved in our movement to make cancer a global priority," said Armstrong, 37, founder and chairman of the Lance Armstrong Foundation (LAF). "I am honoured that my team is demonstrating outstanding leadership in a show of support for our campaign."

According to Armstrong, Ride for Livestrong is composed of three elements – a race kilometre contest, a fundraising initiative and an educational component. The announcement, made on World Cancer Day, took place at Team Astana's press conference during its training camp in Levi Leipheimer's home town, prior to Leipheimer and teammate Alberto Contador meeting the attending press.

"The 27 riders representing nine countries on Team Astana are proud to stand with Lance Armstrong in the global fight against cancer," said Johan Bruyneel, Team Astana General Manager. "Many of the riders, like our fans, have a personal connection to cancer; Ride for Livestrong allows them to take an active role this season to support this effort."

Fans will select their favourite Team Astana rider at the Ride for Livestrong web site, where they can view rider profiles and their connections to cancer. The web site also features cancer statistics for each rider's home country, as well as the burden of cancer in each of the countries where Team Astana will compete this season. By selecting a rider, fans can enter into a race kilometre contest to win Team Astana sponsor prizes, including a race-ridden 2009 Trek Madone 6.9 road bike; a special edition Giro Ionus Livestrong road helmet signed by Armstrong, and a Nike Livestrong clothing package.

Fans may also choose to make a donation to support the fight against cancer through the Livestrong Global Cancer Campaign. Once a favourite rider is selected, fans will be directed to the Lance Armstrong Foundation's secure transaction web site A one-time donation of US$27.50, or more, allows fans to sponsor a rider for the entire season in honour or in memory of a loved one who has been touched by cancer. Names will appear on a rider's profile page. Donations are not required to enter into the race kilometre contest to win Team Astana gear.

The Astana Cycling Team has set the goal of raising US$275,000 over the course of the season for global cancer research. This goal equates to one cent for every cancer death during Armstrong's retirement (27.5 million). The funds raised will support the Livestrong Global Cancer Campaign efforts to make cancer a global priority. The Livestrong Global Cancer Campaign is focused on supporting the 28 million people living with cancer worldwide, dispelling the misconceptions surrounding the disease and urging world leaders, leading cancer organizations and cancer survivors to join together in this effort.

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