lance armstrong

livestrong, die, or take performance-enhancing drugs by Warrior Ant Press Worldwide Anthill Headquarters in Kansas City, Missouri, USA.

While some cycling fans, many of whom coincidentally seemed to be Reaganites, steadfastly stood by Floyd Landis' claims of innocence, readers of this blog will know that I never gave either Landis or Reagan much credit for being anything other than big dopes. However, just because Landis is the dopiest, angriest, most vindictive former member of the peleton doesn't mean he can't occasionally tell the truth.

Lance Armstrong has been the other big bully in cycling for years and bullies are yellow. Landis is Armstrong's 2nd teammate to accuse the 7-time TDF winner of systematic doping. Armstrong won the first case against Frankie Andreau and is winning the second one against Floyd in the court of public opinion. But should he? How is Lance any different than Barry Bonds? It's yet to be proven that Bonds took performance enhancing drugs to become the all-time home run king but everyone believes that he did. Only the superficial American cycling fan doesn't understand the fact that sure Lance has done more victory laps down the Champs Elysee than anyone in the history of cycling but that doesn't mean he's wasn't using. Listen to Lance and his coach when he speaks to the public, you'll hear him talk about being clean now and how he never had a positive test for performance enhancing drugs in his career.

The beloved and current US road champion, George Hincapie, sounded a lot like Mark McGuire the other day when he said he'd rather focus on the current state of cycling. Hincapie's sponsors (not the Steroids Anonymous ones!) would probably agree. A lot of cyclists can make similar statements about being clean today (ignoring yesterday) but no one else has Lance's seven TDF victories. And in America, we're all about winning. We're all about not getting caught. And we're all about being white.

It's hard to defend Landis because he has been such a bitter loser. Obviously what pains him the most is that he was doing what everyone else was doing at the time and he was the one who got caught and labeled a cheat. And others are seen as heroes. The timing of Landis' allegations during the Tour of California demonstrate just how bitter he remains. Landis, a former mountain bike world champion won the inaugural Tour of California. Now, he rides for a middling team that can't even buy entry into the event. And to make matters worst, Armstrong comes out of retirement and now all the media wants to do is talk about Lance. Lance. Lance. What a great guy. And his foundation. Awesome. All the time Landis is thinking, Jesus (forgive me, I have forsaken you), but I was just as good as this guy except I got caught and then burned by the system. This guys does it and he's a hero?

I don't think you've heard the end of this story but a lot of people with money and influence sure hope it goes away soon. Among those I count Radio Shack and the Livestrong Foundation. When the bottom line suffers, people take notice. Listen closely to their arguments against Landis and you'll discover that they always focus on labeling him and not on the issue of whether on not the accused took steroids during the time in question. Landis claims he spent as much as $90,000 a year on performance enhancing drugs. That should be pretty easy to prove if Landis cooperates. Authorities won't be able to access the finances of other riders who were implicated so all this will be hard, if not impossible to prove.

Ask yourself this. If Landis spent this kind of money to dope then the other top riders who claim innocence spent nothing? Also ask yourself this. Why are you so eager to find Barry Bonds guilty in the court of public opinion but not Lance Armstrong?

One of the more damning allegations, that the $100,000 contribution that Lance gave to the US anti-doping agency was in reality a bribe. UCI director. Pat McQuaid, strongly denied these allegations but this is one that should be pretty easy to uncover. For example, how many other $100,000 contributions did/does Lance routinely give and how many does UCI receive? We know the answer to the second question-none.

armstrong crushes leadville 100 by Warrior Ant Press Worldwide Anthill Headquarters in Kansas City, Missouri, USA.

Lance Armstrong soloed off the front of the pack on one of the high climbs and cruised to victory in the Leadville 100. Lance's victory spurned so much interest in the high-altitude endurance event that event servers crashed for several hours into the race; this sent millions of frustrated cyclists onto streets everywhere as they attempted to get a decent workout after sitting in front of their computers for the last hour looking a live-blog feeds. Six-peat champion Dave Wiens took second. Over 1600 participated and at this hour (5pm) MST over 1000 were still on the course.

1st. Lance Amstrong, Aspen, CO, 6:28:50.9 (new course record)
2nd. Dave Wiens, Gunnison, CO, 6:57:02.0
3rd Matt Schriver 7:09:48.5
4th Alex Grant 7:10:54.1
5th Len Zanni 7:11:21.0
6th Max Tamm 7:16:56
7th Travis Brown 7:22:05.5
8th Manual Prado 7:35:27.2
9th Mike Hogan 7:353:35.0
10th Jason Tullous 7:35 47.1

1st Rebecca Rusch 8:14:53 (30th overall)
2nd Amanda Carey 8:40:03.0 (66th overall)

wiens takes sight on leadville trail 100: armstrong on his wheel by Warrior Ant Press Worldwide Anthill Headquarters in Kansas City, Missouri, USA.

Is Dave Wiens the mountain bike equivalent of Alberto Contador for Lance Armstrong? Weins, 6 time winner of the Leadville 100 mountain bike race, defeated Armstrong last year by a couple of minutes in the grueling climbs above 10,000 feet. It was one of Armstrong's first tests in his comeback so the 2nd place finish was somewhat measured. Since then, Armstrong has ridden in the Tours of California, Italy, and France. He's yet to win and is looking for some redemption in Leadville. Weins has no interest in submitting and Lance's plan of having Astana teammate Levi Leipheimer pace him to a new course record fell flat when Leipheimer crashed, breaking his wrist during stage 12 of this year's Le Tour.

For the first time in history you can watch live-streaming video of the Leadville Trail 100 for about the price of six-pack of beer.

butterflies are free: damien hurst and lance armstrong by Warrior Ant Press Worldwide Anthill Headquarters in Kansas City, Missouri, USA.

Lance Armstrong, who has a finally figured out a way to make even the French like him, will be riding a custom Trek Madone decorated by the artist Damien Hurst when he rides laps around the Champs Elysees today on his way to a 3rd place finish in the General Classification of the 2009 edition of Le Tour. Decorating a bike with Hurst butterfly decals is a bit like putting playing cards used by Scotty Nguyen in the spokes except that the Armstrong/Hurst bike is expected to fetch ridiculous sums at auction, the proceeds to benefit the Livestrong Foundation.

team radio shack by Warrior Ant Press Worldwide Anthill Headquarters in Kansas City, Missouri, USA.

Rumors flying around the cycling world that Team Radio Shack will be Lance's new team for next year, proof that being a domestique didn't suit the yellow braceleted dude. It's funny to hear Lance shrug and make insinuations about the performance and motives of his better teammate Alberto Contador when in reality, Lance's role on the team should be to ensure that Contador wears the maillot juane come Sunday and that means Lance should be sacrificing all for the team leader. All that talk about Lance being the team-leader-in-waiting was true, but for different reasons.

One also has to question the loyalty and tactics of Team Astana Director Sportif, Johann Bruyneel, who will join Lance in the new team, during this year's tour. Certainly Bruyneel will earn his 9th Tour Victory as Director Sportif (7 with Armstrong, and then 2 with Contador) but for him to go backwards with the old order, instead of forward with the new, doesn't make much sense - except that Bruyneel understands that Lance is a media machine like no other. The official announcement of the new team is expected today after the finish of today's time trial. If we've learned anything about Lance's comeback it's that, regardless of his love-hate relationship with the media, he still has the biggest ego in the peleton.

lance armstrong continues his not a comeback tour by Warrior Ant Press Worldwide Anthill Headquarters in Kansas City, Missouri, USA.

If your nickname is m.o.i. then July means fireworks, farm fresh fruits and vegetables, and Le Tour. All together that spells fun.

The 2009 edition of Le Tour, which, unless you live in a sandbox, you'll know marks the return of the dude with the yellow bracelet who's trying to stay young and win another maillot jaune is starting to heat up and this just the 3rd day of racing.

An eighth Armstrong victory would be in the pantheon of sports most unreachable achievements - along side of DiMaggio's 56-game hitting streak and Cy Young's 511 career victories. Hell, Armstrong's 7 straight wins will likely never be repeated. For him to add an eighth win after a 3-year hiatus would be remarkable. It's possible but improbable.

The biggest obstacle will come from his own teammate Alberto Contador. However, Armstrong's attacking maneuvers on day 3 indicate that the man means business and that Director Sportif, Johann Bruyneel, may not be able to control Team Astana from the backseat of the race car. Armstrong was able to go on a small breakaway that split the field and and left Contador stranded in the peleton fighting a headwind. The move catapulted Armstrong into 3rd place in the GC and will likely garner lots of media attention. That's the primary reason for making such a move. There's still plenty of sun left to shine on this one; don't get too bothered yet. The team time trail (Wednesday) and the big mountains will help to see whether or not Astana can work as a team.

fireworks on the mountain by Warrior Ant Press Worldwide Anthill Headquarters in Kansas City, Missouri, USA.

We note with interest not that the Spaniard Alejandro Valverde won the last major tuneup, the Dauphiné Libéré, prior to cycling's grandest event, Le Tour, but instead that Valverde has been barred (based upon circumstantial evidence) from racing in Italy for 2 years. For the not-so-die hard Tour fans, the Tour always sequeways briefly into one of the surrounding countries for a stage or two or half. This year, Le Tour crosses into Spain, Switzerland, and briefly into Italy. Unless Valverde, who finished 2nd in last year's tour, can convince the Italian Cycling body to lift the sanction or can convince Amoury Sports, the sanctioning body of Le Tour, to let him run the 80 kilometers (albeit in the Alps) of this year's race he won't be riding. And there will be more talk of doping in cycling as one of the premier athletes is barred it's most prestigious event. Some might say that with Lance in the mix, there will always be talk...but talk is cheap and tests are expensive. Amoury Sports has announced that this year's Tour will the most tested in history; they'll have more drug tests than an Olympic weightlifting event.

As importantly though in the Dauphiné Libéré results is the 2nd place finish of Caudel Evans just ahead of the pre-Tour favorite, Alberto Contador of Astana. Evans had a good chance to win last year's tour and finished second. Denis Menchov, winner of this year's Giro will be grinding for another Grand Tour win. This alone pretty much guarantees that fireworks will be erupting on the mountain stages during this year's tour.

Regardless of what the American press would have you believe it is very unlikely that Lance Armstrong has the form to stay abreast of these riders when the deep attacks come. I expect him to shine for moments but 3 weeks is a long time to race and this year the Tour has packed some storied climbed into the package. Two days before the finish the riders will be forced to summit Mont Ventoux, considered by some to be the most difficult climb in France.

Photo: (top) Alejandro Valverde, 2008 Vuelta a España, 9th stage, Alto Gallego, Spain courtesy of Tesksman, Wikimedia Commons.

livestrong (and astana) wait for another day by Warrior Ant Press Worldwide Anthill Headquarters in Kansas City, Missouri, USA.

Centenary Maglia Rosa goes to the Russian rider.

Six months ago Asatana was considered the best cycling team in the world. Led by the best rider in the world, Alberto Contador, and backed by a cadre of tested domestiques that included Lance Armstrong, Levi Leipheimer, Yaroslav Popovych, Andreas Klöden, and Chris Horner. Astana looked poised to potentially take the centenary Giro. Once Contador decided to sit out the Giro to give himself a better chance to win his second Tour, Astana was forced to look to Leipheimer to carry the burden as team leader and Lance, among others, to work on his behalf.

Lance, for his part, seems to have upheld his part of the bargain and his training regime appears to be well on track to peak in July. Leiphemer, who was hyped as a potential winner of the Giro, proved that for as much improvement as he's shown in the last few years, he isn't likely to win any of the Grand Tours.

As Astana regroups and tries to figure out the financial future of the team, it's likely that the lineup for Le Tour will feature Contador as the team leader and Armstrong as his sidekick. It remains to be seen if they can work together for 3 weeks. But if they do work together on the tough mountain stages, it could be difficult for the competition; Armstrong might find himself on the podium in Paris-not the top rung but a rung none-the-less.

This year's tour seems custom made for Astana. It opens with a short time trial and three days later there's a team time trial. Near the end of the race, nested between several mountain stages, there is a 40-km time trail. On the Saturday before the finish, which frequently has been a flat stage that allows only for little drama except a bunched field sprint at the finish, the race organizer have throw the formidable Mount Ventou, in their way. Contador and Leipheimer could potentially vie for time trial stage wins but that part of Armstrong's game appears the weakest at the moment.

flance meets lance in the tour of missouri? by Warrior Ant Press Worldwide Anthill Headquarters in Kansas City, Missouri, USA.

Organizers for the Tour of Missouri announced today that Floyd Landis will bring his team OUCH Presented by MAXXIS (that's really the name) and race this fall in the 3rd annual Tour of Missouri. If the Astanan/Livestrong? team is still around by them (and they are signed up to race the TOM perhaps we could see a showdown of comeback proportions between the two.

eurosport to lance armstrong: tweet off by Warrior Ant Press Worldwide Anthill Headquarters in Kansas City, Missouri, USA.

The European press has renewed their love-hate relationship with Lance Armstrong. Lance, as the alleged instigator of the protest last week during Stage 9 of the Giro D'Italia, was branded a troublemaker by some members of the press. Lance claims he wasn't the instigator of the boycott and only asked by others to speak on the behalf of the peleton which was concerned about rider's safey. The slow-down by the cyclists was brought to a head after a particularly gnarly crash the day before when Spanaird Pedro Horillo Munoz lost control on downhill, hairpin turn and plunged 60 meters over the mountain guardrail and into ravine. He was airlifted to a hospital after being rescued by a team of climbers. His injuries were substantial and serious. Professionally cycling, especially in the Grand Tours is a very tough and dangerous sport. Downhill speeds on some of the mountain stages in this year's Giro have neared 70 mph. Imagine what traveling 70 mph on a 15 pound bike would feel like. The slightest road imperfection could take you down. It would be like going down on a motorcycle-on the interstate.

The issue in stage 9 that brought the race to a crawl supposedly had more to do with automobile traffic and parked cares being too close to the race course although the frequency and severity of crashes in this year's race likely was a factor as well. Unfortunately, the riders picked Milano, which loves the cycling like few other towns in which to make their concerns known. Not everyone was happy with the action, including some riders. Lance apologized to fans the next day for the protest but then stated he was done talking to the press since they got the story wrong. This is problem for Eurosport which has put together a daily segment called "Planet Armstrong" to recount the Italian adventures of the most famous one-nut cyclist in the world.

Now, in return, the Europress has vowed to stop reading Lance's twitter posts because he won't talk to them.
This is what they're missing:
Getting a massage. Great Lake Swimmers on the ipod.
about 6 hours ago from TwitterBerry

St 14 done. Hot, hilly, and fast. And this insanely steep finish in Bologna. Break went early and stayed away.
about 7 hours ago from TwitterBerry
which is you'll have to agree isn't really very much. It's hard to write stories around Twitter posts. Now I goint to stop trying!

sir. lance-a-lot by Warrior Ant Press Worldwide Anthill Headquarters in Kansas City, Missouri, USA.

Eurosport is reporting that some riders in the centenary Giro D'Italia are tiring of the obsessive media focus on Lance Armstrong. Even the venerable New York Times, which has a history of covering cycling like television covers hockey, is posting daily updates about Giro stages. In the pre-Lance-rides-the-Giro world, the Giro (pro-cycling 2nd biggest event behind Le Tour) rarely rated a mention in the Times.

Michele Scarponi, Giro D'Italia Stage 6 winner, illustrates the extent by which the media is overplaying the lance-a-lot card.(Reuters)

sir. lance-a-lot rides the Giro

astana to ride 2009 tour of missouri by Warrior Ant Press Worldwide Anthill Headquarters in Kansas City, Missouri, USA.

Missouri Lt. Governor Peter Kinder, whose most significant accomplishment in office has been what he's done to elevate professional cycling as a premier event in the state, announced today that Team Astana has committed to the 2009 Tour of Missouri. Astana is the most powerful stage-racing team in the world and includes Alberto Contador, Lance Armstrong, Levi Leipheimer, and Andreas Kloden among its members.

The Kazakhstan Team Astana joins American teams Charmin-Chilpolte and Columbia High Road, Swiss-based Cervelo Test Team, and Italian Liquidgas as having committed to race come September. Ten more slots will be filled in the coming months but the stage is already set to have some of the best riders in the world competing in the 3rd annual Tour of Missouri.

It will likely be the end of the summer, after the Grand Tours, before Astana announces it's lineup. I'd be surprised to see Lance Armstrong ride this race, but you never know. It just might be the final swansong of his much ballyhooedcomeback training ride.

lance armstrong found his bike by Warrior Ant Press Worldwide Anthill Headquarters in Kansas City, Missouri, USA.

The Oscars weren't' the only event taking place in Southern California yesterday as the final stage of the Amgen Tour of California finished in San Diego. Levi Leipheimer won the event for the 3rd straight year.
The Astana train had a relatively easy time protecting the yellow jersey.

“I don’t know if I want to answer questions about questions about the past,” Floyd Landis speaking to the press after stage 7 of the Amgen Tour of California. After the eighth and final stage on Sunday, Flance may not want to answer questions about the future. Drug-free Floyd finished 23rd overall but was never a factor in any stage. Granted his team, OUCH, is nothing compared to most of the other teams in the race, so he may still make his way back. The problem for Floyd is that without contrition, public sentiment just isn't on his side. It's the Pete Rose phenomenon.

Fan fav, George Hincapie (right front), and Chris Baldwin (Rock Racing).

Lance Armstrong, on the other hand, although not true to form and not answering that many questions from the press, showed that come July, he might be throwing wrenches in the Astana hierarchy. I still think it's going to be very difficult for Lance to win another Tour, but can see him possibly winning a stage. His next test comes in the Giro D'Italia, a race that Lance avoided when tackling his 7 Le Tour wins.

Team Astana pretty much outclassed the field with it's group of riders. Levi Leipheimer, who proved he's the best American stage rider, won his 3rd consecutive Tour of California. Leipheimer won the race pretty much how you win a stage race - in the time trials. He finished second in the prologue and he won the individual time trial in stage 6. And he did so against formidable competition. Michael Rodgers, Christian Vande Velde, Oscar Sevilla, Jens Voight, and the Schleck brothers. This was the strongest field ever assembled for a bike race in the US. And the crowds for the last day were reported to be the largest ever for a sporting event in US history.

Photos by Deb Murphy of lose the mittens, who lives just minutes off the route in Pasadena and took these during the closing minutes of stage 7. Images were taken with a Flip videocam and then pulled out as stills.

comeback kids by Warrior Ant Press Worldwide Anthill Headquarters in Kansas City, Missouri, USA.

Without cliches, sports would just be another endeavor for me to watch on television--the Almighty.

Americans love comebacks. And they seem to be everywhere. The Tour of California is marking the comeback of Lance, Flance (Floyd Landis), Tyler Hamiliton, and Ivan Basso. The Oscars are marking the comeback of Mickey Rourke, Meryl Streep (she hasn't won an Oscar in 16 years, and Robert Downey Jr. Richard Jenkins (he's never even been nominated before this year) marks a comeback variant just by being in a place he's never been before after 40 years in the craft. Next week golf marks the comeback of Tiger Woods. Bruce Springsteen is trying once again to be the Boss. Congress is marking its own brand of comeback, that of passing bills by Democrats and trying to get the country to work together once again, although the jury still seems to be out on this one.

Hope? Change? It was no accident those shibboleths drove the election juggernaut in a different direction. They worked because we identify with the comeback. Comeback marks familiarity, but one slightly redefined so as to suggest renewal. A comeback is not an overthrow of the status quo, it's an affirmation. We demanded our own comeback last November. And change came. Or at least we hope it will.

We are all in a state of comeback. We are coming back from defeat. Or victory. We are coming back from injury - mental and physical. We are coming back from growing old, or older, or losing the magic touch, the mojo, the magic. We are coming back from lovers - those lost, those gained, and those imagined.

Lent begins on Wednesday. A period sacrifice so that we can mark a comeback. I'd say it's time, isn't it? Time for a comeback.

livestrong strongarm by Warrior Ant Press Worldwide Anthill Headquarters in Kansas City, Missouri, USA.

The livestrong blog is reporting that Lance Armstrong's time trial bike was stolen, along with 3 other Team Astana bikes, from the Astana bus last evening. It's going to be hard to ride down the street on the bike and not have anyone notice. California law enforcment aren't going to look very highly on this prank.
livestrong strongarm

it's a comeback, it's not a comeback, i am not a cancer by Warrior Ant Press Worldwide Anthill Headquarters in Kansas City, Missouri, USA.

Lance the StrongArm moves his training rides to S. California this week where Team Astana hopes to put two-time defending champ Levi Leipheimer in yellow come Sunday. See the transcript below of Paul Klimmage predicting that Lance would StrongArm him the first chance he got in public. Amstrong's reactions in the press conference makes any potential controversy about Lance dropping his state-of-the-art drug testing program before even one sample was collected disappear.

Flance, aka Floyd Landis, whose return marks a comeback of a whole different ilk, that of a doper who never recounted, took his suspension, and now rides again, has yet to be met with the open arms of the dude w/ one nut, a yellow bracelet, and blue socks. Seven Tour victories makes one a cycling god; getting stripped of one makes you a dope. Landis is riding for the OUCH (not a joke) team. His 48th place finish in yesterday's prologue at the Tour of California indicate that Floyd isn't quite back to peak form.

Tyler Hamiliton, bounced twice from the sport for doping, is also riding in the Tour of California with the Rock Racing Team. Hamilton was a surprise winner of last year's US road championship. Ivan Basso, formerly known as Ivan the Terrible, for blowing up peletons with furious attacks in mountain stages, also marks his return to stage racing. Basso served a two-year suspension for doping.

But there's a lot more to consider during this race this who did what, when, and who got caught, and when, and who didn't get caught. The field for the Amgen Tour of California is far and away the strongest field of professional riders ever assembled for a US stage race. One problem the Tour of California typically runs headlong into, are the nasty late winter California rains that can hammer the coast for days on end. In order to attract world-class riders to the states, US events have to operate at the edges of the European pro-circuit. That's why the California tour is held in February and Tour of Missouri in September.

There's always more to a story than the news soundbites. Call Lance Armstrong many things but don't call him a cancer. Unless you're a journalist, former professional rider, who's been trying to expose the frauds in professional cycling for 10 years, and if you do, don't expect the US press, or sponsors of professional cycling, to come to your aid.

Paul Kimmage on Lance Armstrong comeback:
My reaction … I’m reminded of that memorable scene in The Shawshank Redemption, where Andy crawled through a giant pipe of steaming excrement in order to escape to freedom. That’s how I feel right now about Armstrong’s come back. I feel like we’ve been dragged through this pile of steaming excrement. And the enthusiasm that I had built up about the sport in the last couple of years has been all but completely wiped out in the last couple of hours.

Let’s turn the clock back to Armstrong’s last apparition in the sport. The Tour de France 2005. He’s standing on the podium. And he makes this big impassioned speech. Which is basically saying ‘The last thing I’ll say to the people who don’t believe in cycling, the cynics, the sceptics: I’m sorry for you. I’m sorry you can’t dream big. I’m sorry you don’t believe in miracles.’ That was 2005, his last ride in the the Tour de France. And the people flanking him on that podium were Ivan Basso and Jan Ullrich. And a month after that race ended the French newspaper L’Equipe reported that in his first winning Tour de France, in 1999, Armstrong had tested positive for EPO. Six separate samples taken during that race revealed positive tests for EPO.

This return, he wants us to believe that it’s all about saving the world from cancer. That’s complete bullshit. It’s about revenge It’s about ego. It’s about Lance Armstrong. I think he’s trying to rewrite his exit from the sport. He’s sat back and he’s watched the last two years and he cannot stand the idea that there are clean cyclists now that will overtake his legacy and buy the memory of all the crap that he put the sport through.

When I heard it being mooted first that he was coming back, I thought well that’s fine, because the first thing ASO are going to say is ‘sorry Lance, we’ve seen your results from the 1999 tests , you’re not coming back.’ I expected a similar statement from Pat McQuaid. What’s happened instead is that Christian Prudhomme has said ‘yes, you can come back, no problem.’ And Pat McQiad has said ‘I really admire this man, he’s a tremendous ambassador for cycling.’ What we’re getting here is the corporate dollars and the money that’s going to accompany this guy back into the game. The money that’s going to bring for Nike, one of the big sponsors of the Tour. And for the UCI, who have been experiencing some serious problems in the last couple of years.

Much as you want to say the sport has changed, as quickly as they can change their own opinions – McQuaid, who says one thing in private and quite the opposite in public, and Prudhomme – if they can change so quickly then I’m sorry, it’s really very, very difficult to have any optimism with regard to Armstrong and the way the sport was moving forward. For me, if he comes back next year, the sport takes two steps back.

I spent the whole Tour this year with Slipstream, the Garmin team. That wasn’t by accident. I chose that team deliberately, because of what they were saying about the sport and the message they were putting out. But also the fact that so many of that team had raced with Armstrong during his best years and knew exactly what he got up to. And the stuff that I learnt on that Tour about him and what he was really like was absolutely shocking, really shocking.

What’s going to happen now is he comes back and everybody’s going to wave their hands in the air and give him a big clap. And all the guys who really know what he’s about are going to feel so utterly and totally depressed. And I’m talking about Jonathan Vuaghthers, who raced with Armstrong that first winning Tour and who doped. And if you look at that Tour, Armstrong’s first win, there were seven Americans on that team. Frankie Andreu has said he used EPO. Tyler Hamilton has been done for [blood doping]. George Hincapie was exposed as a doper by Emma O’Reilly, the team soigneur. Christian Vand Velde and Jonathan Vaughters … both are members of Slipstream and would promote the notion that this was not a clean team by any means. When you look at that and what Armstrong’s done and how he’s seemingly got away with it, it just makes his come back very hard to stomach.

Astana’s the absolute perfect team for him. He’d be renewing his old acquaintance with Bruyneel, who wanted to hire Basso last year. Will he be renewing his old acquaintance with Ferrari, the famous doctor? Will Bruyneel be taking pictures of the questioning journalists and pinning them on the side of his bus?

When Armstrong talks about transparency, this is the greatest laugh. When he talks about embracing this new transparency … I’m really looking forward to that. I’m really looking forward to my first interview request with him and seeing how that comes back. Because that would really make it interesting.
This guy, any other way but his bullying and intimidation wrapped up in this great cloak, the great cancer martyr … this is what he hides behind all the time. The great man who conquered cancer. Well he is the cancer in this sport. And for two years this sport has been in remission. And now the cancer’s back.

it's not a comeback! by Warrior Ant Press Worldwide Anthill Headquarters in Kansas City, Missouri, USA.

It was a training ride.

Lance finished 29th in the Tour Down Under. He was never a factor; got a little face time for the sponsor (Astana*) in a breakaway on Day 4, but mostly he coasted in the peleton and avoided crashes.

*Technically Lance rides for the Astana Team. Astana, for those who might not know, is the capital of Kazakhstan. Why would Armstrong ride for a team who purpose is to redevelop Russian dominance in the sport of cycling? Several reasons, foremost of which is that Astana has the best Director Sportif, Johann Bruneel in the business.

Bruneel, who has captained all of Lance's Tour de France victories, plus Alberto Contador's Tour win, always has a fleet of capable domestiques to support his best riders. Plus, Astana has the best team of riders in the world; three great riders, with Armstrong probably the 3rd best among them. Contador also bagged the Giro D'Italia and Vuelta a España within 12 months which makes him a mini-god in the pro-circuit. Levi Leipheimer, who played second fiddle to Armstrong for a couple of years, is the number 2 Astana rider. Look for Leipheimer to make a repeat victory in the upcoming Tour of California as Lance continues to work his way back into racing form. So, long point, in reality, Lance, as always, rides for himself. The American press will give short shrift to Team Astana and instead focus on the dude in the yellow bracelet. Lance's real team is Livestrong.

Steephill offer all the Aussie spin @:
it's not an aussie comeback

lance armstrong, outback edition by Warrior Ant Press Worldwide Anthill Headquarters in Kansas City, Missouri, USA.

Sunday, Lance Armstrong begins in earnest his attempt to prove to the world that he's always been clean by racing in the Tour Down Under, the first Pro-Tour race of the season. Fact of the matter is this. You can't take away his seven Le Tour titles-they're in the books. That road been ridden down before and although many of the mighty (Flance aka Floyd Landis, Alexander Vinokourov, Michael Rasmussen, and a host of others) fell off the bike, Lancestrong was always able to stay upright and steer past the allegations.

And this time, he'll have to be clean, since he's signed onto a rigorous anti-doping testing program. And since everyone else will also be clean, and he's still a great cyclist and appears to be in good form, he'll make a good showing. Astana is sending a phalanx of capable riders to help out with the comeback. One thing about these short (1 week) stage events is that there aren't many opportunities for riders to put a whole lot of separation between themselves and the rest of the peleton. The mountains aren't high enough and there aren't enough of them to completely destroy the peleton such as what happens in the Grand Tours. The flat stages are mostly left to the sprinters who shine in mass field sprints. Lance could potentially win a sprint in a breakaway, but he perfers to watch the field sprints from the safety of the peleton. With no time trial and no big mountain stage in the Down Under, it means few opportunities for Armstrong to excel.

Elite athletes, much like politicians before a primary, like to play down comeback expectations. They love to say things like we're only hoping to finish, we're aren't expecting to win, etc. They seem to want to do all this to make any victory, high-placed showing, or stage win (if they happen) seem all that more improbable. Expect Lance to do well, don't expect him to win or even capture a stage. This race is for sprinters. But he'll do well enough to turn next months Tour of California into a media frenzy for yellow bracelets, comeback kids, and American heroes. Ultimately, Down Under and Tour of California aren't races that matter to Lance, except to promote his comeback and causes. And no, Lancestrong's race-that-matters-most is not the Race for the Cure, despite what he might say. The only race that's ever really mattered to Lance is the biggest prize of all - the one that finishes with laps around the Champs Elyesee. His comeback will be designed to win that race, and that race only.

Versus is offering daily wrap-ups of the event on the tube and the web. will likely find some streaming video (or at least audio) to whet the appetites of the truly cycling crazed. For a more local perspective on the race, check out aussie abc.
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cheater shot in the arm by Warrior Ant Press Worldwide Anthill Headquarters in Kansas City, Missouri, USA.

The recent revelation that at least 3 Tour de France cyclists tested positive for a new kind of blood enhancer threatens to further harm the sport. Stefan Schumacher, who won both time trials during this year's tour, was one of the riders. The others were Richardo Ricco, who won 2 stages, and Leonardo Piepoli, who won one. That's 5 of 21 stages that were won by blood-doping riders and that makes the sport look stupid.

The riders tested positive for a new generation of drugs that are typically given to people with chronic kidney disease. Chronic kidney disease (and many cancer treatments) often inhibits the body's ability to produce red bloods cells. The pharmaceutical company Roche developed a drug, Mircera®, that works by activating a bone marrow receptor which then triggers the production of new red blood cells. More red blood cells in the body means more oxygen - a great benefit to dialysis patients and competitive cyclists alike.

In an even weirder twist to the story, one that wasn't reported in the sports journals, is that Roche is being sued by another pharmaceutical maker, Amgen, for patent infringement. So the cheaters have been using a drug that was obtained by cheating!

Fans and sponsors are getting sick of all the doping scandals and here's a crazy twist to next year's Le Tour. Corporate sponsors have been dropping right and left. New teams to the table, such as Garmin/Chilpolte and Team Columbia, are stepping up only after branding themselves as cleaner than clean, meaning they use even more advanced techniques to test riders than the World Anti-Doping Authority. Riders also have to sign contracts that allow the sponsors to sue them for back-wages and fraud should the riders ever test positive for banned substances.

Just as the sport seems in danger of imploding, Lance Armstrong (long accused, but never proven, of being dirty) comes out of retirement to save the day, bring back the fans, and restore the integrity to the sport. As part of his comeback, Armstrong will be subjecting himself to rigorous testing to prove to the world just how 'clean' he is. If he wins, he'll be able to hold himself up as the very model of the clean cyclist.