lance armstrong made it official yesterday with the announcement he's coming out of retirement and will get back in the saddle to compete in the 2009 tour de france. after his historic seven straight victories in the tour, armstrong would be chasing number eight in his post-retirement return to the tour de france.
lance certainly didn't take it easy during his 3 year hiatus. he ran the nyc marathon twice, and boston once - all three of which were sub-3 hour finishes! but it his second place finish in the leadville trail 100 mile mountain bike race (not to be confused with the leadville 100 mile trail run) that seemingly convinced him to get back into competitive cycling.
as he told vanity fair magazine in an exclusive interview, "lance armstrong rides again," just published on-line:
"The impetus to come back, he says, sprang upon him quite unexpectedly over the summer, in Colorado. Armstrong had an epiphany on August 9 after placing second at the Leadville Trail 100 Mountain-Bike Race—a 100-mile “Race Across the Sky,” which climbs to more than 14,000 feet. That ascent, cycling upward in a crosscurrent, tripped something primal in him."
“Then Leadville, this kind of obscure bike race, totally kick-started my engine. For me it’s always been about the process.… The process of getting there is the best part. You start the season a little out of shape, a little heavy. You get in better shape. You lose some weight. I mean you’re just crafting this perfect program. For several weeks I [had] trained [for Leadville] and went riding by myself. Obviously beautiful territory and fresh air, just feeling fit, losing weight, getting strong—living a very healthy lifestyle. I thought, This might be fun to try again.”
go lance go!