Lance Armstrong has sent out the first clear sign that he may not ride the Tour de France next year.
“I want to prove to the world that I can also do this,”
Armstrong was quoted as saying in Belgian newspaper Het Volk earlier today. He was refering to riding one day races, however his reputation was built on winning races like the World Championships and the San Sebastian Classic. So look out Belgium.
Discovery have been fishing around for Ivan Basso to join their team so they may already have hatched a plan to support the Italian in the Summer race, maybe with Armstrong ‘in reserve’. Look out France.
Seeing as he usually does do the things that he wants, we may see him challenge in more of the Spring races, then sit-out the Tour and return to ride the Tour of Spain in the late summer and then the World Championships. We suspect that this new challenge is to silence the cynics that say he can only ride one race well.
These races could certainly do with Armstrong’s presence, as he is so well regarded across the world, any race with him in it is going to get headline attention, we should welcome this gesture as his true support for cycling. He will have the best support in the races, with Roger Hammond and George Hincapie as his trusty lieutenants, in his bid to win one of the toughest of them all the Tour of Flanders.