Despite a battle to defend himself against doping claims and turning 39 years old this year, Lance Armstrong will continue to race in 2011. He announced today that he will participate in the Tour Down Under from January 16 to 23 in Adelaide, Australia.



“I’m excited to be competing in my last professional ride outside the US at the Tour Down Under,” said Armstrong. “I’m sure I will enjoy it as much as I have the first two times.”



Armstrong competed in the last two editions. In 2009, he marked his comeback from a three-year retirement and this year, he launched his new RadioShack team in Adelaide.



Friend and South Australia’s state premier, Mike Rann, welcome his return.



“This is an amazing opportunity for cycling fans across the globe to head to Adelaide and be part of history as Lance competes in his farewell ride as a professional on international soil,” Rann said.



“Lance is a true hero of the sport and we are delighted he has chosen to compete again in South Australia and make his international farewell here.”



Armstrong’s last professional race was the Tour de France in July. Despite winning seven times and finishing third last year, he finished 23rd this year and left the race on a sour note. For the final stage to Paris, he and his RadioShack team disobeyed rules by wearing different jerseys, which delayed the start of the stage while organisers forced them to change.



In the US, he has other problems. His RadioShack team faces a difficult search to find a replacement sponsor and he is at the centre of a federal investigation. Former US Postal team-mate Floyd Landis alleged Armstrong doped and used sponsorship money to fund doping during his seven-year reign as Tour champion. The two raced together from 2002 through 2004.



In Los Angeles, a grand jury is reviewing evidence supplied by Landis and several of Armstrong’s associates. Investigator Jeff Novitzky has subpoenaed Armstrong’s former team-mates – including Tyler Hamilton and Frankie Andreu – and three-time Tour de France winner, Greg LeMond. He has also requested documents from Armstrong’s long-time sponsors, Nike and Trek.



Armstrong has repeatedly denied doping charges throughout his career. He continues to raise awareness for his Livestrong cancer foundation, which he started in 1997.



“I will never forget the reception we received in Adelaide when we kicked off the Livestrong global campaign [last year],” he said. “I look forward to racing and also checking in on the progress in South Australia.”

 

 

 

  • Colin Edwards

    Armstrong’s shameful secrets will inevitably emerge in the next few years. Not that it will bother him while he enjoys an affluent lifestyle. In the meantime, we REAL cyclists will modestly enjoy our sport with clear consciences and pleasure, and without the stigma of public disgrace being borne by our offspring

  • Andy

    In response to K Miller –

    Firstly – I’m not one of the “Armstrong haters” I admire his dedication to the sport and his victories. I admire what he has done and is doing to raise awareness of cancer. (Is there anyone out there who isn’t actually aware of cancer?)

    I’m also a passionate cyclist and love every single aspect of the sport. I’m also an intelligent, well traveled and cultured person. I therfore don’t hate L.A. but I am not convinced about his ‘clean status’ within the sport. I look forward to the day that L.A. appears in court to bring this debate about him to a conclusion once and for all.

    The whole L.A. story has a religious tone to it. Maybe if L.A. didn’t portray himself as such a miraculous Saint people like me wouldn’t be so keen to see the guy fall on his sword. Like religion and its followers – there’s those who have faith and there’s those who have blind faith. I hope you can accept the final verdict, whatever it may be?

  • mike hogan

    Cycling doesn’t need Armstrong to keep hanging around, he was a blight on the sport, and now just a embarrassment, feeding his ego. Having said that he has the right to race just as any other licensed pro and should just enter the race with out a press conference months in advance. With a little luck, hopefully he will be on trail by the start of the Tour Down Under.

  • rob

    One of the highlights of this years TDF was seeing this nasty little man humiliated. When I turned off the telly after watching the Champs Elysee stage I thought that’s the last I’ll see of that ******. Sadly mistaken.

  • k miller

    I can not wait to see what the armstrong haters make of this no doubt we shall hear the same old bitching from some of the more prolific contributers . it is amazing to see just how many comments one or two of these gentlemen have posted the bile and downright venom exibited by them is in my opinion more a reflection of their state of mind .i am assured that lance armstrong has not as yet tested positive for performance enhansing drugs .the tests from 99 are so i am told not reliable .from his posts I know one of these gentlemen may squeal with anguish over this veiw he seems to have spent his last few years working himself into a high state of persperation over anything and everything that he dose not like i wish this person would give us all some respite and have a rest from this nonsence but i think that would be far to much to ask .

  • Jockey on the oche

    Good reason not to watch or follow that race then.

    Come on FDA hurry up and get him in court,