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 3½ 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.
Great catch thanks Lynn. Pretty exciting! Being an electrical engineering major and spending plenty o time at Radioshack, the analogy of that kind of geeky tech aligned to bike technology is amusing and doesn't quite seem to fit.
Surely, whatever the odds of attracting Lance, we should invite him to the area, perhaps for Columbia? Richmond? Nation's '10, offering the services of potentially hundreds of volunteers to help with a charity effort. I wonder who and how to contact, to be among the first in the queue? One selling point: DC allots billions of cancer research dollars.
Use USAT, Dextro, Nation's Tri connections to make an approach?
It is bad enough when my own DC tri peeps blow past me on Hains Pt. Not sure I need Lance out there to make me feel worse. Also Simon, I have heard in recent articles how Lance is really quite the geek about the math and science of cycling so maybe Radioshack is not such a odd match.
Simon, you said training tri? He would have to talk to the race director about that and sign up on time.