Not only does Lance Armstrong intend to race again at the Tour de France in 2010, but he will do so on a new American-based team funded largely by RadioShack.
From Annecy in France, where Armstrong moved from fourth place to third Thursday in the Tour de France, the 37-year-old, seven-time Tour winner announced the formation of a team that will be ready to compete next season.
In a statement, Armstrong said, “To be able to compete for an American team comprised of the world’s top cyclists, supported by the best coaches and staff -- I couldn’t be happier to partner with RadioShack.”
Although no other team members have been announced, it is expected that Johan Bruyneel, who was Armstrong’s team director for all seven Tour wins, will join Armstrong’s new team.
Bruyneel is the director of the Kazakhstan-based Astana team for which Armstrong, likely 2009 Tour winner Alberto Contador and three-time Tour of California winner Levi Leipheimer competed this year. Bruyneel announced this week that he would not return to Astana next season.
One likely rider addition for the new American team is Taylor Phinney, a rising star who left the Garmin team this year to race for Armstrong’s newly formed under-23 team.
RadioShack, which will be based in Austin, Texas, where Armstrong lives, will be the third U.S.-based team on the pro cycling circuit. Garmin-Slipstream is based in Boulder, Colo., and Columbia-HTC is in San Luis Obispo.
Armstrong will also compete for the team as a runner and triathlete as well as a cyclist, according to RadioShack.
Armstrong ran in the New York City marathon during his three-year retirement.