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Lance Armstrong will come out of retirement next year to compete in five road races with the Astana team, according to sources familiar with the developing situation.
Armstrong, who turns 37 this month, will compete in the Amgen Tour of California, Paris-Nice, the Tour de Georgia, the Dauphine-Libere and the Tour de France — and will race for no salary or bonuses, the sources, who asked to remain anonymous, told VeloNews.
Now, how's that for news?
Update, by Gavia, 5.10 pm, Monday. Holy rumorage batman!
According to cyclingnews Astana DS Johann Bruyneel was surprised to hear the reports of Lance's possible return. Said Bruyneel, "I don't know where the rumours come from. Maybe (they arise) because Lance recently finished second in a 160km mountain bike race? He has been training for it and he is in good shape." Levi Leipheimer, asked for comment in Spain where he is currently riding the Vuelta, seemed skeptical. "I don't think so," he said.
Meanwhile, a story by the Associated Press reports that Team Astana has no intention of signing Lance Armstrong to ride for them next season. Said the Phillipe Maertens, spokesman for Team Astana, "he is no part of our team." "We have no plans with him," Maertens emphasized.
Efforts by the AP to reach Armstrong himself for comment proved unsuccessful.
Well, I suppose we needed something to talk about today, but really, you'd think a "real media" outlet like Velonews would at least call the team and the DS for comment before running with this story.
Thanks to Guidemd for the links to Cyclingnews and the AP.