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Lance Amstrong Comeback Confirmed

Lance Armstrong will return to professional cycling next season. Mark Higgins, the spokesman for Lance Armstrong, confirmed the news today, putting an end to widespread speculation. In his public statements, Armstrong cited a desire to draw attention to the fight against cancer as his principal motivation for his return. It remains unclear as to which team he will join for the coming season, though today Team Astana's spokesman Phillipe Maerten confirmed that Armstrong would be welcome at Astana. Maerten raised one condition, that Amstrong give up racing mountain bikes and devote himself entirely to the road.

According to Higgins, the Tour is Armstrong's main objective for the season. And, you can expect that he will arrive in top condition, according to Bill Stapleton, Armstrong's long-time agent. Said Stapleton, "He will not race for second place." Armstrong himself told Vanity Fair that he would like to win an eighth Tour. In a public statement, Armstrong said that he is "happy to announce that after discussions with his daughters, his family, and his most intimate friends," he has decided "to return to professional cycling in an effort to raise attention to the battle against cancer."

Armstrong will hold a press conference in New York on 24 September to detail his plans for the 2009 season.

Read the entire Vanity Fair story: LINK!

Armstrong has posted a video statement at his site, Watch it!

Podium Cafe's Coverage of Lance Armstrong's Comeback:
Two posts; two zillion comments...
dheadrick's Original Post
Chris' Editorial

Oh, and the Bruce Gap strikes again: Sunday's Wild Rumors!

One last update... a money quote:

“There’s this perception in cycling that this generation is now the cleanest generation we’ve had in decades, if not forever. And the generation that I raced with was the dirty generation. And, granted, I’ll be totally honest with you, the year that I won the Tour, many of the guys that got 2nd through 10th, a lot of them are gone. Out. Caught. Positive Tests. Suspended. Whatever.… And so I can understand why people look at that and go, Well, [they] were caught—and you weren’t? So there is a nice element here where I can come with really a completely comprehensive program and there will be no way to cheat.”

From this comment I am willing to bet that Lance saw the rather telling and comprehensive graphic put together by Luz Ardiden here in January. Check it out.