Friday 12 September 2008

Lance Armstrong's Comeback

The press has been full of speculation about Lance Armstrong's return to the pro peloton. There is no question that while winning his unprecedented string of Tour de France victories he was a fierce competitor and an extraordinary athlete. His presence brought enormous attention to the sport of cycling which, for Americans in particular, was seen as a fringe activity. And this high profile has enabled him to do great things for the cancer community.

He has claimed that he is coming back to the sport as a way to focus on the fight against cancer, although I am not certain how this will work or what can be added that has not already been said. His first Tour victory, in 1999, was the emphatic statement that an endurance athlete could not only beat cancer but return to the highest level of the sport.

Lance Armstrong will be nearly 38 years old at next year's Tour de France. Other cyclists have managed some impressive wins at that age, but not many and not the Tour itself. I suppose if anyone can do it Big Tex can.

But maybe he is coming back because he just plain likes to ride his bike. Michael Barry, the Canadian riding for Team Columbia (and winner of yesterday's stage at the Tour of Missouri) was a teammate of Armstrong's at US Postal and had this to say in the New York Times.

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