Lance Armstrong isn’t done with bicycle racing yet
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Lance Armstrong will race in the Santos Tour Down Under, the first major international cycling event of the 2011 season, Jan. 16-23, according to a press release from race organizers sent Saturday evening.
When Armstrong, the seven-time Tour de France winner, came out of retirement in 2009, the first race he committed to was the Tour Down Under, which is raced in and around Adelaide in South Australia. Armstrong and South Australia premier Mike Rann have a good relationship and Armstrong received strong fan support in 2009 and 2010.
Since May, though, Armstrong has appeared to be the focus of a federal grand jury investigation into possible doping in cycling. Several former associates and teammates of Armstrong when he raced for the United States Postal Service team have testified in front of a grand jury in Los Angeles.
After this pastsummer’s Tour de France, Armstrong said he would not race on European soil again, and in the press release Rann said, ‘This is an amazing opportunity for cycling fans across the globe to head to Adelaide and be part of history as Lance competes in his farewell ride as a professional on international soil.’
Armstrong said in the release: ‘I’m excited to be competing in my last professional ride outside the U.S. at the Santos Tour Down Under. It will be my third time to the event and I’m sure I will enjoy it as much as I have the first two times.’
Interesting that in both quotes the point was made that the January event would be Armstrong’s last international race. That seems to leave open the possibility of another race in the United States, the biggest of which is the Amgen Tour of California.
-- Diane Pucin