Armstrong makes low key return to Tour for charity
Disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong made a low key return to the Tour de France on Thursday (July 16) when the American cancer survivor set off on a charity ride that follows the route of this year’s race.
Dozens of journalists were in attendance at a supermarket car park in southern France ahead of the 43-year-old’s ride to Rodez, but no fans were there to greet the Texan.
Armstrong, who was stripped of the seven Tour titles he won from 1999-2005 after admitting to doping following years of denials, is taking part in Geoff Thomas’s ‘One Day Ahead’ charity event.
The American joins former England footballer Thomas and a team of amateurs, who are aiming to raise one million pounds ($1.56 million) for Cure Leukaemia by cycling the route of two stages a day before the official peloton passes through.
Asked what kind of reception he was expecting from French fans, Armstrong said: “I don’t know… all I know is this is a frenzy. But if I compare this experience to going to dinner in Toulouse last night with local people, it’s very different.
“People are always very nice, I respect it and I appreciate that and I enjoy being here.”