Well, it's no longer a rumor.
Lance has confirmed in an interview on Tuesday that he is coming back and his first race will be the AmGen Tour of California. (ironic that AmGen is
the creator of EPO).
Anyway, he's been doing the out-of-competition drug testing regime and he is cleared by ASO to race Feb 1st. (AmGen is in Feb and will be telecast by
The story I mentioned being in Vanity Fair is also up, and fully browsable.
Vanity Fair article on Lance's comeback
He said in the interview that the speeds they were riding were 'slow', compared to other years. Of course I don't find that to be true. In the past
years here are the average speeds of the winners:
Distance 3,559 km (2,211 mi)
Winning time 87h 52' 52" (40.50 km/h/25.17 mph)
Distance 3,569.9 km (2,218 mi)
Winning time 91h 00' 26" (39.23 km/h/24.38 mph)
Distance 3,639 km (2,261 mi)
Winning time 89h 40' 27" (40.789 km/h/25.345 mph)
Winning time: 86h 15' 02" (41.654 km/h)
Winning time: 83h 36' 02' 40.553km/h
Winning time: 83h 41' 12" 40.940 km/h
Winning time: 82h 05' 12" 39.909 km/h
Winning time: 86h 17'28" 40.070 km/h
Winning time: 92h 33'08" 39.221 km/h
Winning time: 91h 32'16" 40.273 km/h
So I don't think there's any validity to him saying they're riding slow, nor do I think it's a 'clean tour'. They're still riding at speeds
comparable to the drugged up years (~1998 for sure)
In the 50s the average speed of the winner was 34.341 km/h (21.33mph)
In the 60s the average speed of the winner was 35.944 km/h (22.33mph)
In the 70s the average speed of the winner was 35.527 km/h (22.07mph)
In the 80s the average speed of the winner was 37.057 km/h (23.02mph)
In the 90s it picked up significantly to 39.151km/h (24.32mph)
In the 2000s it picked up again to 40.324 km/hr (25.06mph)
Though bikes have gotten lighter, the stages have probably gotten harder. Human performance and nutrition have improved, but I don't see this kind of
improvement in other sports. The high jump has only improved a tiny amount since Bob Beamon's jump in the 80s, for instance.
Anyway, should be interesting.
[edit on 10/9/2008 by Badge01]