Yes! Armstrong Returns!

by Jack  

Just as everyone has speculated in the last few days, Lance Armstrong confirmed today that he WILL return to professional cycling for the 2009 season. In the much talked about Vanity Fair article, Armstrong sites cancer awareness as one of his main reasons for returning. Of course, there's also that "itch" that is factored into the decision as well.

This is decidedly good news for the world of cycling. A world that has been reeling from a series of doping scandals and a general drop in attention since his retirement. It is extremely important for American cycling as well. He has done more for this sport than any other cyclist and his name will no doubt bring even more attention in 2009. This means more fans, a rise in sponsorship money and hopefully a resurgence for the Tour de Georgia. Once the biggest race in the States, it has now been threatened by the lack of funds and may not return next year. With Armstrong's verbal commitment to participate in 2009, the race organizers have found the fuel needed to find a major sponsor for at least one more year.

It remains to be seen what ASO thinks since it's still no guarantee his team (assuming it's Astana) will be able to ride the Tour. If not, Armstrong has a plan. In published statements, Armstrong has stated that he has already talked to French President Nicolas Sarkozy about this, clearly bringing the same fire that he exhibited while winning 7 straight Tours.

Click here for the Vanity Fair article.

And click here for a personal message from Lance himself.

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