Tien jaar geleden voegde ex-Tourwinnaar Lance Armstrong zich bij de ploeg Astana in Tenerife om daar zijn comeback in het wielerpeloton voor te bereiden. Mijn jongste zoon John, die in Tenerife woont, heeft hem daar toen wel gezien, maar uiteraard geen kans gehad om met hem te praten. Zelfs Cyclingnews.com moest zich op Sporza baseren om verslag uit te brengen over deze trainingssessie. Helaas is de versie van Sporza zelf niet meer te vinden op het internet, want anders kon ik u de tekst in het Nederlands presenteren.

The Astana team arrived in Tenerife on Monday for its first training camp ahead of the 2009 season. Sporza reported that it’s the first occasion ‘new’ recruit Lance Armstrong has turned out for the squad, after earlier announcing his intention to return to France for next year’s Tour.
The 37-year-old American has expressed his satisfaction in the Tour’s management, part of the reason he has decided to ride the year’s second Grand Tour after having raced the Giro d’Italia. “I have confidence in the new leadership of the Tour,” Armstrong told reporters in Tenerife. “In the Tour, I will do my job for the team.”
Following an operation last week, Alberto Contador was also present at the team’s training camp and seemed in high spirits, praising Armstrong’s decision to ride the Tour. “His vast experience will help us,” said the Spaniard. “It’s unclear what his current form is like, but he will make us better. He is very important for the Tour.”
Contador reiterated that his main goal for 2009 will be the Tour, possibly putting to rest claims that Armstrong’s arrival may have begun a rift between the prodigiously talented Spaniard and Astana team management. It appeared as though Contador could have been resistant to the American’s comeback as resources and focus may have been diverted away from his bid for a second title in France.
It now appears that the 37-year-old will be a domestique at the Tour – albeit with massive star value attached, more befitting of a team captain. This was reflected in his statement, “During the Tour I’ll do my best for Astana,” made before heading out for a ride with the team.
Merk op dat Armstrong toen al zei dat hij zijn best zou doen voor Astana en niet voor Contador, wat effectief ook het geval zou blijken te zijn. Men mag zelfs stellen dat Contador die Tour gewonnen heeft ondanks Armstrong in plaats van dankzij Armstrong!

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