…and now, a post about Lance Armstrong

There’s no shortage of cycling news in Austin these days, with discussions ongoing about a bicycle boulevard on Nueces Street (or Rio Grande– or both). And with all of the avid bikers in Central Texas, I thought it’d be helpful to bring together some recent news on the city’s most famous cyclist– none other than Lance Armstrong.

Armstrong returned last summer from a three-year retirement to compete in the Tour de France. Surprisingly, he performed quite well in the individual stages; unsurprisingly, he lost to Alberto Contador, one of the top three cyclists in the world. Contador and Armstrong both raced on the same team last year, Astana, which led to some battered egos, since most teams in cycling rally behind a single leader in big races and try to help him or her to victory.

But after finishing in third, Armstrong dropped Astana (Contador is still a member) in favor of a new sponsor– American company Radio Shack.

Now training for the 2010 Tour, Lance has been racing around the world, and of course training here in the scenic Hill Country, as Team Radio Shack kicks the cycling season into high gear. Here’s a quick refresher on the seven-time Tour de France winner, who you might occasionally catch on one of the sun-soaked roads outside of town:

  • Armstrong spent the last few days here in town finishing up some training on the beautiful country roads that race across Central Texas.
  • Armstrong then headed to Europe as Team Radio Shack battled in the Volta Algarve (Portugal)– the team finished with two riders, Tiago Machado and Levi Leipheimer, in the top 5.
  • And back in mid-February, Armstrong, while out in Hawaii, turned quite a few heads with an impromptu time trial challenge issued to triathelete Chris Lieto.

… Even more surprising, Lieto responded, and the two faced off in what is believed to be the first ever Twitter-organized bike race. Triathelete Magazine reported that Armstrong won– but only by nine seconds. Head over to the link above if you want to read Lieto’s interesting interview about it.

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