LAS VEGAS, NV (BRAIN)—Lance Armstrong spoke to the bicycling media Thursday morning about raising global awareness for the fight against cancer.
He also announced that besides committing to the Tour Down Under, Tour de France and Leadville 100, that he’ll also be racing in next year’s Tour of California, even though he joked at the outset that he changed his mind about coming back.
“It crossed my mind 20 minutes into CrossVegas,” said a smiling Armstrong, who finished the race in the middle of the pack.
The press conference at Interbike took on an unusual twist a few moments later when another American cycling legend, Greg LeMond, asked doping-related questions to Armstrong and independent anti-doping expert, American Don Caitlin (left in picture). Armstrong enlisted Caitlin to regularly test him, and post those results to the Internet.
“Greg, can I just step in for a second?” Armstrong said. “You’ve done your job [to LeMond]. It’s time for everybody in the room to move on. Next question."
Armstrong also talked about his plans to start a developmental team that will include young Olympian Taylor Phinney (right in picture). Armstrong said Trek is a main sponsor of the team.
The biggest beneficiary of Armstrong’s comeback may just be SRAM, considering that Team Astana uses the company’s components. Much of his career Armstrong was using Shimano.
According to an article published in today’s Wall Street Journal, Armstrong is investing several million dollars into SRAM, where he will serve as a technical advisor.
“You’ve got the former world’s best coming back and switching components,” said Stan Day, co-founder and chief executive officer of SRAM, to the Wall Street Journal. “What a vote of confidence.”
Armstrong said that there’s no contract between him and Team Astana.
“It’s essentially a donation,” Armstrong said. “I’ll ride for at least a year.”
Yesterday, in New York City, Armstrong held a similar press conference at the Clinton Global Initiative. Since 1997, the Lance Armstrong Foundation has raised more than $260 million to fight cancer.
PHOTO by Lin "Commish" Alder