Tour de France 2015

Armstrong re-enters the fray

PUBLISHED : Monday, 13 July, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 13 July, 2009, 12:00am

Legendary athlete and cancer survivor Lance Armstrong is riding in the Tour de France again this year.

Cyclists from all over the globe are now competing in the oldest and most prestigious cycling event in the world and, after four years in retirement, Armstrong is back in the race.

The race began on July 4 and ends on July 26.

The competitors will cycle 3,445km through six countries - Monaco, France, Spain, Andorra, Switzerland and Italy.

Armstrong retired after winning the Tour de France for a record seventh time in 2005. He faces stiff competition this time. But nobody is counting 37-year-old Armstrong out, particularly after he jumped from 10th place to third last Monday. By Thursday, he was second.

Armstrong captured the world's attention when he was diagnosed with testicular cancer and a tumour that affected his brain and lungs in 1996, before going on to make Tour de France history.

He worked with Nike to create the now-famous yellow livestrong wrist band which has inspired many people to overcome difficulties and raised more than US$70 million for cancer research.

Previously unpopular in France, where he has been accused of doping and of an arrogant, competitive attitude, Armstrong is winning back the crowds this year. He is competing with Kazakhstan-based UCI Pro Team Astana - along with 25 other riders.