Armstrong announces new team for next year’s Tour
ANNECY, France – Lance Armstrong and RadioShack are forming a new cycling team that will compete in next year’s Tour de France.
The seven-time Tour winner, who returned to cycling after 3 1/2 years of retirement, also said Thursday he expects to take part in running and triathlon events for Team RadioShack beginning in 2010.
“RadioShack has agreed to partner with us on this venture and ensure that this partnership and this team stays alive for years to come, continues to be at the head of the peloton,” Armstrong said in a video on his Livestrong Web site.
The 37-year-old Texan is riding this year’s Tour with the Kazakh-funded Astana team. He was in third place overall after Thursday’s time trial, and did not speak to reporters near the team bus after finishing the stage.
“This has been a great season so far – the response in the countries we’ve been to has been amazing,” Armstrong said in a statement released by RadioShack. “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.”
Armstrong did not indicate who else might join Team RadioShack, but he’s expected to build a squad fully devoted to his ambitions. Armstrong has spent much of this year’s race in support of Alberto Contador, who has the yellow jersey with three stages left. Contador is expected to join another team next season.
Armstrong also did not say whether his longtime friend Johan Bruyneel, Astana’s current manager, would join his new team. Bruyneel was with Armstrong for each of his Tour victories.
Armstrong said RadioShackwill help his Livestrong Foundation in its fight against cancer. He said the electronics chain, with about 35,000 employees in nearly 6,000 stores, can provide the resources to field a team that can compete in the world’s premier cycling race.
“We have an incredible opportunity to leverage RadioShack’s connection to tens of millions of people to spread the Livestrong message,” Armstrong said. “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, headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas, said it will also sponsor the Livestrong Foundation’s signature fundraiser, a 5K run/walk and cycling ride held in four cities throughout the United States.
“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,” RadioShack CEO Julian Day said.
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