clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Is Armstrong Buying Team Astana?

A number of you guys have already seen the CN note which has Lance Armstrong getting into team ownership and management, pretty much ASAP, while he's still a racing cyclist. You probably also saw the post below and assorted comments to the effect that Astana appear to be on their way out as a sponsor, sometime between yesterday and later this summer. So the speculation begins. Maybe the two stories are unrelated, but Lance and Bruyneel are so intertwined that the idea of Lance passing up the chance to take over this rather excellent pro tour squad seems absurd.

Team Astana is a Luxembourg company, officially, located in Petange. It's not clear from any of their communications who the owners are. Obviously Tailwind Sports disbanded when Discovery did, but I wouldn't be shocked if Bruyneel were part of the ownership group, along with some people from the title sponsor and/or government of Kazakhstan. Presumably anyone from the latter would want to sell if Astana is no longer the title sponsor. So if the team is getting gutted, and Lance were buying his way into cycling with a major team on which he plans to ride, he would have the chance (obligation?) to buy in as a team owner.

From there he would need to find title sponsors. I suppose "Livestrong" could be one, but I doubt it. He is connected, so there are numerous companies we could speculate on, but for now it's just that. Best guesses are a big American company; something related to cancer research is possible, though I can't think of why such an entity would benefit from flashing its name around. And the drug-makers... the imaging is too complicated, methinks.

Anyway, I don't want to start another referendum on Lance: good guy or no? I do think it'd be quite interesting to see an active racer/team owner. I doubt this is the first, but I couldn't tell you when the last time was that an active racer owned his own team. Surely it's been a while.