Following US Postal’s announcement at the weekend that they’ll end their sponsorship of their team at the end of the season, Lance Armstrong has hinted that it could possibly lead to his retirement from the sport at the same time.
In an interview with the French sports daily L’Equipe published yesterday, Armstrong credited the US Postal Service with playing a substantial role in his past successes: “Without them I might not have won one Tour. They were the perfect sponsors,” he said. The team has already set about finding a replacement, but Armstrong believes that it won’t be easy to match the support of UPS and asserted, “If the team continues under another name with a new structure and a squad as competitive, it’s sure I’ll be riding. Otherwise, I’ll stop”.
The UPS decision to end their relationship with the team has come after the company faced heavy criticism for the amount it has devoted to sponsorship in the context of rising UPS tariffs for consumers.
Anyone who might think that the question of future team sponsorship would distract Armstrong from his attempt to win a record-breaking 6th consecutive Tour de France can think again. Armstrong claimed not to have even looked at the details of next year’s proposed UCI Tour structure: “It’s April” he told L’Equipe’ and the only thing that matters is who’s going to win the Tour de France.”