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Lance is back?

September 8, 2008 - Steve Murch
Velo News is reporting that Lance Armstrong is going to come out of retirement and compete in five races next year, including the Tour de France (see the link to the right). It’s interesting news for the cycling world and huge news for racing fans in America, where the sport generally is received with only lukewarm interest.

The report is that Armstrong will join Team Astana, which has two other excellent American cyclists, Levi Leipheimer and Chris Horner. Team Astana, whose coach is former Armstrong coach Johan Bruyneel, did not compete in this year’s Tour de France, so you have to believe part of the move is to ensure the team is in next year’s race.

If Armstrong wants to come out, that’s great, especially since his return will reignite interest in the sport in the U.S. It’s not like he has been out of competition, Armstrong has gotten off the bike and run in marathons, proving he still has that competitive fire.

The tendency in the states is to think that the sports world here is the be-all, end-all and that cycling needs Lance Armstrong. It can’t hurt to have him return, but the sport has a solid core of young riders who are poised to capture the limelight. Armstrong’s return could help reenergize interest in the U.S. and bridge the gap until the young riders are ready.

One thing is for certain — U.S. ratings for the Tour de France (since that is the one race Americans are aware of) will go up next year if the report is true.

 
 

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