Lance Armstrong Returning to Cycling in First Race Since Doping Confession
Lance Armstrong is returning to cycling — but not professionally.
Six months after the disgraced athlete confessed to using performance-enhancing drugs, Armstrong says he will compete in The Des Moines Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa.
The race, which takes place July 21-27, consists of a 406-mile course that winds through the state.
“To be honest it’s not a statement, it’s not an experiment,” Armstrong tells the paper. “It’s just me wanting to go ride my bike with what in the past has been a friendly group of people that share the same interests.”
The former seven-time Tour de France champion, who has competed in the event a reported six times before, says he knows his return will raise some eyebrows.
“I’m well aware my presence is not an easy topic, and so I encourage people if they want to give a high five, great,” says Armstrong. “If you want to shoot me the bird, that’s OK, too.”
Armstrong was banned from professional cycling by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, and is still battling lawsuits with liabilities of $135 million.
What do you think of Armstrong competing in the Des Moines race?