Lance Armstrong will once again race Trek road bikes at the highest level of sport, announcing yesterday his intention to return to the pro peloton in 2009. Armstrong will reunite with his old team manager Johan Bruyneel and race for the Trek-sponsored Astana Pro Cycling Team. As driven as he is to win an eighth Tour de France, Armstrong is candid that his number one priority and main motive for coming out of retirement is his determination to carry his cancer fighting message around the world.
As a Trek-athlete for life, Armstrong’s return to professional racing opens another important and exciting chapter in Trek’s history.
“Lance is a great champion and a wonderful ambassador for cycling, cancer survivors, and for Trek,” noted Trek’s Director of Marketing, Dean Gore. “He’s an important part of the Trek family and we are of course delighted to see him return to the sport that he loves—the sport that we love. We look forward to helping fuel his success, both on the bike and with his Global Cancer Initiative. We share his passion to cure cancer in our lifetime, having partnered with the MACC Fund for the past 19 years to hold the annual Trek 100, which has contributed more than $7.2 million to childhood cancer research. Lance’s values dovetail perfectly with Trek’s.”
Lance’s return also marks the first time he’ll race aboard Trek’s new Madone platform, a bike which Lance has ridden for the past two years, but never raced, and a bike that has been ridden to three Grand Tour victories, including the 2007 Tour de France, since Lance’s departure. He’ll also have an opportunity to race aboard Trek’s latest Equinox TTX. The prototype TTX Lance raced in the 2005 TdF has evolved considerably and the refinements will no doubt be to Lance’s liking.
“For nearly a decade Lance has played an important role in Trek’s product development,” noted Trek’s Road Bike Brand Manager and former team liaison Scott Daubert. “Keeping Lance ahead of the competition during his seven Tour championships pushed us to innovate and perform at the absolute highest level. We look forward to resuming that fruitful relationship. The new Madone and Equinox TTX bikes are the best bikes in the pro peloton and we’re confident they’ll give Lance the competitive edge he needs. But we in no way intend to rest on our laurels. We look forward to collaborating with Lance and the rest of the Astana team to develop exciting new products.”
Lance’s first race back with Astana will be Australia’s Tour Down Under, which kicks off on January 18th. Lance is also slated to race the Tour de France in July and the Leadville 100 mountain bike race in August. Additional races will likely be added to Armstrong’s schedule as the season progresses.