TDF official: Lance says this last TDF ride
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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Mar 2002

    Exclamation TDF official: Lance says this last TDF ride

    This story is is on the NYT web site. Kinda makes you wonder ...

    Quick denials followed by Tailwind officials, but Lance was unavailable for comment.

  2. #2
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: wongsifu_mk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002

    No surprise

    I think the only way he'd be back is if he lost this one.

    That's all I'm gonna say about that.

  3. #3
    Surfs Passion Naked
    Reputation: Hollis's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004

    Talking Article Courtesy Pasted Here

    Smells like Propaganda to me

    A high-ranking official among the organizers of the Tour de France said this is the last time Lance Armstrong will compete in the race.

    If he wins for a record sixth consecutive year Sunday, as seems certain, Armstrong will not return next year, the official said, but will focus instead on at least one of the two other big Tours, the Giro d'Italia in May and the Vuelta a España in September, and several one-day classics.

    Armstrong, the defending champion, had already informed the Tour organizers of his plan, said the official, who did not want to be identified.

    That assertion was denied Thursday by Bill Stapleton, Armstrong's agent and the chief executive of Tailwind Sports, which owns Armstrong's Postal Service team.

    "We haven't even discussed that yet," Stapleton said in a phone interview before the 17th stage Thursday. "No decisions have been made.

    "It would be definitely incorrect to say he won't be back next year."

    Dan Osipow, communications and events director for Tailwind, also denied the report.

    "It's way too early now to speculate on what Lance's schedule will be next year," he said in a phone interview Thursday. "A lot depends on the final result in this race."

    Osipow added that, under the new sponsorship by Discovery Channel next year, the team was obligated to ride in the Tour de France, although he was unsure whether Armstrong was.

    Johan Bruyneel, the sports director of the Postal Service team, said Thursday: "He's going to race, but we didn't decide on a program. A lot of things can change, a lot of things can happen."

    Armstrong was not available for comment. He has often said that he will compete for at least another year.

    Explaining why he said Armstrong, 32, will not ride in the Tour again, the official said Armstrong saw no point in going for a seventh victory, especially out of respect for the four other riders who have won five times.

    Armstrong wants to set a record for Tour victories, the official said, but he does not want to appear to be rubbing in any superiority over the feats of Jacques Anquetil, Eddy Merckx, Bernard Hinault and Miguel Indurain.

    The official added that Armstrong also wants the opportunity to participate in the Pro Tour, a reorganized calendar of major races that will begin next year.

    By skipping the Tour and his arduous preparation for it, the official said, Armstrong will be able to compete in many races that do not fit into his schedule now.

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