Now this is interesting. VeloNews is reporting that Lance Armstrong is coming out of retirement to race the big races again next year.
Lance Armstrong will come out of retirement next year to compete in five road races with the Astana team, according to sources familiar with the developing situation.
Armstrong, who turns 37 this month, will compete in the Amgen Tour of California, Paris-Nice, the Tour de Georgia, the Dauphine-Libere and the Tour de France -- and will race for no salary or bonuses, the sources, who asked to remain anonymous, told VeloNews
Interesting sporting angle, what's all this about the doping, DM?
It should not be news that Lance was accused numerous times of doping. He was not, however, ever found guilty of doping and likes to say that he never turned in a positive test.
There is still a lot of muttering by fans, especially as each new revelation of doping or heavy doping suspicion for a former close competitor or domestique of Armstrong hits the news. Which is what makes these comments in the VeloNews report so interesting.
According to sources, the Texan will post all of his internally tested blood work online, in an attempt to establish complete transparency and prove that he is a clean athlete.
Armstrong re-enrolled himself into the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency's out-of-competition testing pool prior to August's Leadville Trail 100 mountain bike race, where he finished second to Dave Wiens, said USA Cycling chief operating officer Sean Petty.
Oh boy, this doesn't sound good. No salary, no bonuses. Just doing it for the love of the sport. Oh, and "Ima gonna prove I din't dope, y'all!".
I just don't see upside here. Coming out of retirement is a dodgy business in cycling. 37 years is pretty old. Not the oldest high-performer evah. But old. So if he can't return to the high level of excellence he did before, people are going to observe that he can't even compete against the present level of undoped athlete. (Vanvelde had a comment in a recent print version of Bicycling magazine in which he said something about the speed in the hills this year being dramatically slower.) If he does kick butt, great. But there is no way he's going to crack off another 7 years of dominance is there? So there will still be muttering.
Oh well, should be entertaining anyway.
Update: Bruyneel sez, whut?; Astana sez, not us.