Armstrong may continue racing in 2011 prior to Ironman triathlon
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Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Armstrong may continue racing in 2011 prior to Ironman triathlon

by Conal Andrews at 6:24 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour de France
 
Texan’s future direction could depend on outcome of current investigation

Lance ArmstrongWith the end to his Tour de France career fast approaching, Lance Armstrong is making plans for what he will do in 2011. The Texan got into cycling over two decades ago after initially competing as a triathlete, and he has indicated that he is likely to return to that sport after winding down his life as a professional rider.

"The first thing I have to do is to compete in a half Ironman to test myself. Because of my age and I would rather not compete in Olympic distance. Those triathletes who dispute this distance achieve speeds that I cannot get close to,” he told Diariodeltriathlon.es, referring to the fact that these are sprint events.

“What is clear is that if I want to be competitive, I have to focus on the longer distances as they often have tougher cycling sections and that would benefit me.”

Armstrong is a solid runner and swimmer, but would lose time to the specialists in that discipline. The long individual bike rides would turn things to his advantage, and the no-drafting rule in the Ironman would also maximise his gains.

According to Marca, Armstrong will use some races such as the Tour Down Under, the Tour of California and a race such as Paris-Nice to build condition, presumably lining out in those events with the RadioShack team. However he has already said that another Tour de France is out of the question.

"This Tour will be my last race of three weeks. I would give me a chance in a triathlon but do not know how fast I could go,” he said.

The Nice and Hawaii Ironman races are possible targets. The French event will take place on June 26th 2011, while the second will be held on October 8th.

One factor that could complicate things for Armstrong is the current criminal investigation into the US Postal Service team. According to yesterday’s New York times, subpoenas have been issued to several unnamed parties. The New York Daily News expanded on this, saying that a federal grand jury has issued a subpoena for documents to the Trek Bicycle Corporation, which has backed Armstrong’s teams since 1998.

According to Floyd Landis, who has made accusations of doping against the Texan and others, the USPS team’s Trek bikes were sold in order to finance the purchase of banned substances.

Armstrong’s future in triathlon would therefore seem to depend on the outcome of those inquiries, and how soon a conclusion is reached. If things go against the team, it’s hard to picture him competing next season. If they are cleared, that would pave the way for a return to where it all began, and a chance for him to see how he shapes up against the best triathletes in the world.

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