Armstrong has obviously taken the L’Equipe story to heart and has implied that he is going to make a comeback. The larger than life story continues to generate plenty of media spin and who knows if he will or not, he may just be saying it to get back at L’Equipe. After all the French seemed pretty happy to see the back of the Texan. After LeBlanc’s comments he may not even be that welcome…
Talking to Reuters team manager Dan Osipow told them yesterday.
“Lance has obviously been there every year. Whether this occurred or not, he was most likely going to ride with our team anyway at that camp,” “Perhaps now he may ride with a bit more vigour and take it a little differently than perhaps a retired athlete would.”
“Does he take the camp the way he has the last handful of years or is he there just to stay fit and healthy? Obviously it depends on where we are in December… how he takes the camp.”
“I think he’s been very offended, If you know him he doesn’t need a lot to find some motivation. I think it woke up the competitive side of him.”
Johan Bruyneel, Armstrong’s team manager at Discovery Channel, told the Belgian news agencyBelga:
“We could decide during our training camp in December, which will be decisive (for the Tour), but don’t make me say that Lance has already decided what he will do with the rest of his career. That said, we speak for 15 minutes on the phone every day, and for 13 of those we talk about cycling.
“He got back on the bike to train three weeks after the end of the Tour de France. He follows the team’s progress closely and it’s sure that he’s still hungry for success.
“There will always be a place on the team for him if he decides to come back. Anyway, he’s still under contract with us till the end of 2006.
“I’m sure he could win… The way he won this year… everything pretty much under control and he never showed any weakness. He has another Tour in his legs yet.”
RCUK verdict? He could be just saying all this to get at L’Equipe or he could be serious… either way I bet T-Mobile, CSC and Phonak will be worried. The Tour organisers will be a little uncomfortable at the thought too… But seeing as he’s also about to get married, he may find life on easy street a little more appealing.