Lance Armstrong may be backpeddaling from the statement that his goal is to come back to win an 8th Tour de France title. In statements he made following his win at the 12 Hours of Snowmass this past weekend he put more empahasis on spreading the message of the fight against cancer on a global stage.
"It would be a mistake to say I'm coming back to win an eighth Tour; I don't need an eighth Tour,"
CyclingNews.com reports that Lance may race Austrailia's Tour Down Under in January based on other comments Armstrong made in Colorado.
"The most important issue is taking the global epidemic of cancer really to a much bigger stage," he explained. "The best way to do that is to race the bike all over the world. So you race in Australia, South Africa, South America, Europe, America, um... that is the first priority."
The assumption is that Lance will join Team Astana because his long time mentor Johan Bruyneel runs the team, and they are sponored by Trek bicycles who he has had a long standing relationship with.
CyclingNews brings up a point I have put out there before of the possibility of Lance creating his own LiveStrong team. If his goal is to spread the word about fighting cancer, that may be harder to do while wearing an Astana jersey.
Then there is the whole issue of how you put Lance back in a team that already contains Alberto Contador who Lance admits is the best rider int he world and Levi Leipheimer who is also near the top.
"I've said that all along; [Contador] is the best cyclist in the sport," he said. "That's why he should have been in the Tour de France this year. " - Lance
When the discovery team disbanded at the end of 2007 Tailwind Sports who ran the team, decided to walk away from the sport instead of finding a new sponsor. Lance was a part owner of Tailwind Sports, and many of the people in that organization (besides Bruyneel) probably could come back with the organization of a new team, and I'm sure Lance has a lot of contacts that could help him organize a team.
There are also a few things that make the possibility af a new team a long shot. First, if this is going to be a team that can qualify for the Tour de France they need to be a team of UCI Pro Continental status which reqired paperwork for the team to already be files for next season.
Also there has been no rumours of any riders signing with such a team (although there are a lot of riders still looking for 2009 teams),and we would have probably heard other rumours.
Whatever is announced on September 24th in New York, it will be fun to see Lance racing again, although he may want to avoid Germany, as they were not as excited about his comeback.