Update: Astana says there will be no Armstrong comeback with their team. (AP)
In a development that will energize cycling fans, and will keep our weblog busy, Lance Armstrong appears to be staging a comeback to shake the ages. To VeloNews:
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.
Armstrong's manager, Mark Higgins, did not respond to questions.
However sources close to the story have told VeloNews that an exclusive article on the matter will be published in an upcoming issue of Vanity Fair, expected later this month.
Rumors of Armstrong's return swirled at last week’s Eurobike trade show in Germany and this week’s Tour of Missouri.
Vanity Fair? Is that a preeminent cycling journal? And Astana as a team? Not like jumping into a once hopped-up, once doped-up cycling team. Astana worked with the doping doctor himself, Dr. Michele Ferrari, who also worked with young Lance Armstrong. From the NY Times (left link) on Ferrari, Astana, and Armstrong (And here too):
...Vinokourov had been the subject of intense questions since before the Tour, when he acknowledged that he had worked with the Italian physician Michele Ferrari, who has been linked with doping practices. Ferrari also worked with Lance Armstrong, who has defended Ferrari and said that Ferrari never provided him with or encouraged the use of performance-enhancing drugs.
With Armstrong back in the (sore) saddle, and Floyd Landis coming off suspension, 2009 could be an interesting year for cycling. Armstrong plans on proving he is clean:
The rumor speculates that Armstrong will reunite with former team manager Johan Bruyneel at Team Astana — a viable option given Armstrong’s long-lasting relationships not only with the Belgian director but also Trek, Astana’s bike sponsor.
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
If he comes back, Armstrong will need to rest his legs, and stop this 'sex god' tomfoolery...