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The comeback to end all comebacks

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As turn ups for the books go, they don't come much bigger than this.

Lance Armstrong, the most successful Tour de France rider in history, is coming out of a three-year retirement to compete in arguably the toughest event in sport.

news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/oth...

The 36-year-old, who beat testicular cancer before winning an unprecedented seven Tour titles, retired back in 2005 with the world at his feet.

Hob-nobbing with presidents and global leaders and running his own cancer charity have taken up much of his time, but the competitive fires obviously still burn brightly for one of sport's all-time greats.

Armstong - it is difficult to think of a more competitive sportsman - has served warning to his would-be rivals that three years away from the cutting edge of the sport have done nothing to diminish his abilities.

"When Iím on the bike I feel just as good as I did before," he told Vanity Fair.

Armstrong is one of a handful of sporting figures - Pele, Diego Maradona, Muhammad Ali, Michael Schumacher, Usain Bolt, Tiger Woods (fill in your own blanks) - who transcend their sport.

Ask my wife about Eddy Merckx, often regarded as the best cyclist of all time, and you'll get a blank look. Mention Armstrong and you'll get an enthusiastic account of his two best-selling books and a glowing tribute to an inspirational figure.

But his hard-earned reputation is now on the line.

Anything less than an eighth Tour title will surely be seen as a failure. So why do you think Armstrong has done it?

He certainly isn't be the first sportsman to change his mind. Major figures like Michael Jordan, Bjorn Borg and Sugar Ray Leonard have all - with varying degrees of success - come out of retirement for one last crack at glory.

The questions are almost endless. Is Armstrong right or wrong to risk his legacy? Where does it rank amongst the other sporting comebacks in history? What does his return mean for cycling as a sport?

Would you bet against Armstrong winning the Tour again in 2009? And who will he ride for?

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posted Sep 25, 2008

so what? Well tell that to the countless Lance-bashers on here, who are desperate to discredit him because they 'believe', much like people 'believe' in god, that L. A took drugs. I say believe because there is no actual evidence for it, just a load of conclusions that can be erratically jumped to. Glad to see someone accept that L. A is as much of a 'cheat' as the great Merckx, who L.A is always compared unfavourably to.

And has anyone apart from the above thought of the possibility that the reason Merckx won so much in so many races was because he was on a helluva lot more narco than L.A? No? Well i suggest you do think about it!!

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posted Sep 25, 2008

How old are you?

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posted Sep 25, 2008

twenties, though I'm not sure why that is relevant.

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posted Sep 25, 2008

Merckx was actually caught in 1970. Read his biography and the note the language that he uses and, compare it with Armstrong's. Merckx could have briefed him (they are good friends).
Then try Freddy Maertens book. A much more candid approach, from a man who paid a much higher price. His is the perfect example of why doping was actually banned. It's not about cheating, but the health of athletes.

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posted Sep 26, 2008

Well. Armstrong is inspirational. sport and life needs poeple like him. He is a hero. I have not given a second glsnce at cycling since he has left now ican't wait for the touyr to begin .Why? Simple he is simply one eprson who lifts my spirit when i see him do what he does best.
Let's face it he could have one all of the last three. It's not for us to decide if he should come back - he is the one who knows his capabilities.
I think people who bash armstrong are simply jealous of his true guts and hard work.
We are mere mortals whereas he is someone who is more.
He is special. I can't even remember who won last year's or the year before.
37 is not old only old for those journal;ists and people like chris boarman who never had the courage or the telent to the tour only follow.
thanks

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posted Sep 26, 2008

"I think people who bash armstrong are simply jealous of his true guts and hard work."

Hardly! Armstrong has acheived true greatness within the cycling sphere. However, for those who have been around somewhat longer than either he or you, he has used cycle sport for a different end. Canonising him does him less favours than anything else. Certainly who watched Merckx (who, as I said is his friend) race, neither Armstrong nor anyone else will be the greatest.

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posted Sep 26, 2008

Why was I so blind? I have just had an epiphany. As to why Lance is really coming back to the TdF. And it's got nothing, save on a personal level, to do with him winning an eighth Tour. Or cancer. I just couldn't make the "Bloomberg" connection previously.
Why was the TdF created? Not as a sporting event, but as a publicity spectacle. It always has been and, always will. Although cycle sport fans conveniently forget this. Armstrong knows it and, so does U.S. financial giant Michael Bloomberg Inc.
Since leaving cycle sport, Lance has not only used his astute and calculating brain on behalf of cancer sufferers. He's also got a financial stake in the World's largest cycle retailer and, supplier of Astana's mounts - Trek. His mate Eddy's bikes are also now under the same U.S. corporate umbrella. As were former TdF winner Greg's. This is not just about promoting Trek products though. That's where the Bloomberg connection comes in.
I live down on the Kent coast and run a cycle retail and repair business. I am aware that in some close neighbouring countries - particularly France - one has been able to buy U.S. cycle firms' products at rock bottom prices in French supermarkets ever since U.S. foreign policy became anathema to many who were not "Willing" members of the U.S. coalition of the same name. U.S. sales of many goods have slumped in many E.U. countries over recent years for purely political reasons. That's why your copy of Cycling Weekly is always swamped by adverts for U.S. brands - Trek, Specialized, Cannondale, Litespeed, Merlin, SRAM, etc. They have focussed their advertising in the countries where they can still expect a reasonable return on their investment.
Which has all resulted in a greater financial loss to the U.S. economy as a whole than the individual wealth that invading Iraq has brought to one small group of "Haves & Have Mores" has brought to it. Now Bloomberg and Armstrong/Trek have obviously got together to use their heroic publicity tool that Lance is globally, to promote the U.S. as purveyors of good in the World. Lance's comeback is nothing more then a multi-layered, "Buy U.S. export goods", advertising campaign! Using the TdF precisely for what it was first envisioned over a century ago! It would fit with Lance's stated view of the war too. Personally, he would want to redress the balance.
Well. Let's wait and see what happens next. It will be interesting, if nothing else and, Conta's got nothing to fear from Lance in either the short, medium or long terms.
Bravo! For a shrewd economic decision.

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posted Sep 28, 2008

dope is the last to die

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comment by Jamie (U6943668)

posted Sep 28, 2008

Comment by puydedome (U1988656)

"Why was I so blind?"

This has to be the greatest post of all time! Drug assisted? Loose-Change inspired? UFO's and Roswell not included? You've been around too long dude, it's got your head...

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posted Oct 2, 2008

Am a way too late to answer Marlayman...Your rebuttal of my points are incredibly biased...I'll leave the Basso rubbish for now!!!
VO2 Max and there's more to it than that? You tell me so, how a man with a VO2 max in the early 80s could obliterate the wattage of cyclists with VO2 maxes in the 90s...and while you;re at it, you may want to contact Antoine Vayer and Greg Lemond...because they haven't figured it out either...
P.S. Delgado was a genuine typo

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