Armstrong '100 percent' committed to return to cycling
His competitive thirst apparently unquenched, Lance Armstrong has told Vanity Fair magazine that he intends to try to win an eighth Tour de France in 2009.
In a story posted on the magazine's Web site Tuesday afternoon, Armstrong told writer Douglas Brinkley he doesn't think his age -- 37 on Sept. 18 -- means he can't compete for the podium spot he once owned.
"Look at the Olympics. You have a swimmer like Dara Torres. Even in the 50-meter [freestyle] event, the 41-year-old mother proved you can do it," Armstrong said in a story excerpt. "The woman who won the marathon [Constantina Tomescu-Dita, of Romania] was 38. Older athletes are performing very well. Ask serious sports physiologists and they'll tell you age is a wives' tale."
Armstrong characterized his intention to compete in the 2009 Tour as "100 percent," although at this point, he is not affiliated with any professional team. VeloNews.com reported Monday in an anonymously sourced story that Armstrong would sign with Astana, which is run by his former boss, Johan Bruyneel, but Bruyneel thus far has denied direct knowledge of Armstrong's comeback.
The Tour "is the intention," Armstrong's spokesman Mark Higgins told The Associated Press, "but we've got some homework to do over there."Added Bill Stapleton, Armstrong's lawyer and longtime confidant: "We're not going to try to win second place." "Ultimately, I'm the guy that gets up," Armstrong told Vanity Fair. "I mean, I'm not going to lie my back gets tired quicker than it used to and I get out of bed a little slower than I used to. But when I'm going, when I'm on the bike -- I feel just as good as I did before."
Armstrong told the magazine he decided to return to the professional ranks while competing in an event open to pros and amateurs, the grueling Leadville Trail 100 mountain bike event in Colorado last month. He finished second to world champion Dave Wiens in the 100-mile race, which is contested at 10,000 feet of altitude.
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