Lance Armstrong’s pledge to create a new ProTour team for 2010 became a reality today as RadioShack announced they would be backing the squad.

RadioShack were one of the many names circulating as potential backers but became the favourites this morning when it was discovered that domain name www.teamradioshack.com had been registered with Armstrong’s management company.

The Livestrong brand will have a major presence with the team. 

Armstrong, who is certain to take Astana team boss Johan Bruyneel with him, now faces a race against time to sign riders and set up the infastructure needed to start competiting at the Tour Down Under in January.

It’s likely that many staff will leave the Astana set up after wages weren’t paid earlier in the year. Kazakh rider Alexandre Vinokourov is set to return to the team within the next few days (his two-year ban for blood doping ends tomorrow) and it’s unlcear whether or not his presence will destable things further. 

Astana, a team backed by various Kazakh businesses, was set up for Vinokourov after the demise of the Liberty Seguros team in the wake of Operacion Puerto, and he has made it clear he intends to return.

The press release said:

RadioShack Corporation is proud to announce a partnership with seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong to form a new American Pro-Tour cycling team. Beginning in 2010, Lance Armstrong will compete for Team RadioShack as a cyclist, runner and triathlete in events around the world, including the 2010 Tour de France.



Lance Armstrong returned to the world stage of professional cycling in order to promote the efforts of the LIVESTRONG Foundation and their fight against cancer. From the start of the 2009 season at the Tour Down Under in Australia, Lance’s return has generated significant attention and has allowed LIVESTRONG to step up awareness, grassroots action and fundraising in the global fight against cancer.



“This has been a great season so far – the response in the countries we’ve been to has been amazing and it’s clear now that this was the right choice.  Utilizing the massive media attention that the sport receives has been the perfect vehicle to help spread the LIVESTRONG message around the world,” said Lance Armstrong.  “To be able to compete for an American team comprised of the world’s top cyclists, supported by the best coaches and staff – I couldn’t be happier to partner with RadioShack, a truly iconic American brand,” said Lance Armstrong.



“Teaming up with RadioShack makes sense for a number of reasons.  For one, it’s very appealing to me that they have a huge base of stores throughout the U.S. and Mexico.  We have an incredible opportunity to leverage RadioShack’s connection to tens of millions of people to spread the LIVESTRONG message,” said Armstrong.  “Also, in cycling, the technology we use on our bikes matters – it allows us to compete at the highest level.  It’s important to me to partner with a brand that understands the role technology plays in people’s lives.”



“RadioShack keeps people connected in a highly mobile world through innovative technology from leading brands,” said Lee Applbaum, RadioShack’s Chief Marketing Officer.  “As one of the greatest athletes of our generation, a father, a cancer survivor, and a tireless advocate in the fight against cancer, Lance Armstrong understands the power of keeping people connected and that’s why we feel he’s the perfect partner for our brand. “



“This is an exciting time at RadioShack,” added Applbaum.  “We are re-launching our brand with a new creative platform in early August, and now having Lance on our team – an American icon who embodies the spirit of mobility, connectivity and philanthropy – really allows us to accelerate our brand’s evolution.”



RadioShack also plans to activate their 35,000 employees and almost 6,000 stores across the country to raise awareness and funding for the fight against cancer through the Lance Armstrong Foundation and LIVESTRONG.  “We know that cancer research and survivorship is near to the hearts of many of our associates and customers, and together with Lance and his Foundation, we have the power to make a meaningful difference,” said Julian Day, RadioShack’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.



RadioShack will also sponsor the LIVESTRONG Foundation’s signature fundraising event, the LIVESTRONG Challenge Series, a 5K run/walk and cycling ride held in four cities throughout the United States, providing support for an ongoing, self-sustaining fundraising vehicle to raise money for the fight against cancer.



“RadioShack’s sponsorship will help spread the spirit of the LIVESTRONG Global Cancer Campaign and fuel its efforts make cancer a global priority.  The cancer community salutes RadioShack’s efforts and the investment they are making in support of 28 million people living with this disease,” said Doug Ulman, CEO of the Lance Armstrong Foundation.

TOUR DE FRANCE 2009 LINKS

Tour de France 2009 – the hub: Index to reports, photos, previews and more.

STAGE REPORTS



Stage 18: Contador tightens grip on the maillot jaune



Stage 17: Schleck brothers overhaul Wiggins as Frank wins the stage



Stage 16: Astarloza snatches Alps stage win as contenders wind up the pace



Stage 15: Contador wins in Verbier as Tour explodes into life



Stage 14: Ivanov wins as Nocentini clings onto yellow


Stage 13: Haussler braves rain for victory in Colmar




Stage 12: Sorensen wins in Vittel as Cavendish goes for green



Stage 11: Cavendish takes fourth win to equal Hoban’s record



Stage 10: Cavendish spoils Bastille Day party to take third stage win



Stage nine: Third French win as contenders content with ceasefire


stage eight: Sanchez wins from break as Tour favourites cancel each other out




Stage seven: Feillu wins at Arcalis, Nocentini takes yellow, Contador leap-frogs Lance



Stage six: Millar’s brave bid denied on Barcelona hill as Hushovd triumphs



Stage five: Voeckler survives chase to win his first Tour stage



Stage four: Astana on top but Armstrong misses yellow by hundredths of a second



Live Tour de France stage four TTT coverage



Stage three: Cavendish wins second stage as Armstrong distances Contador



Stage two: Cavendish takes first sprint



Stage one: Cancellara wins opening time trial

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How the Tour favourite are doing (Rest day 2)

Wiggins climbs to third in Tour overall

Armstrong concedes he can’t win the 2009 Tour

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Stage 15 analysis: Is the Tour now over?

Columbia criticise Garmin for chasing Hincapie

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EXCLUSIVE VIDEOS



Garmin-Slipstream’s HQ before the Tour



David Zabriskie’s time trial bike



Mark Cavendish on the Tour’s team time trial



David Brailsford interview



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TOUR DE FRANCE 2009 PHOTOS



Stage 16 photo gallery by Graham Watson



Stage 15 photo gallery by Graham Watson



Stage 14 photo gallery by Graham Watson



Stage 13 photo gallery by Graham Watson



Stage 12 photo gallery by Graham Watson



Stage 11 photo gallery by Graham Watson



Stage 10 photo gallery by Graham Watson



Stage nine photo gallery by Graham Watson



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Stage seven photo gallery by Graham Watson



Stage six photo gallery by Graham Watson



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Stage four TTT photo gallery by Graham Watson



Stage three photo gallery by Graham Watson



Stage two photo gallery by Graham Watson



Stage one photo gallery by Andy Jones



Stage one photo gallery by Graham Watson



Team presentation by Andy Jones



Team presentation by Graham Watson

TOUR GUIDE

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Big names missing from 2009 Tour de France

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