Lance Armstrong Releases New Book Lance Armstrong Comeback 2.0: Up Close and Personal
Read our excerpt from the new book Lance Armstrong Comeback 2.0: Up Close and Personal and use our link below the excerpt to order the book online. It will make a great Christmas present to cyclists and cycling fans.
I decided right then and there to mount a comeback, but the seed was planted. In the days and weeks that followed, it was on my mind. Increasingly on my mind.
About this same time I was training for the Leadville Trail 100, a tough 100-mile mountain bike race in Leadville, Colorado. I'd originally planned to do this race in 2007. My friend and coach Chris Carmichael was going to do it, and then a bunch of us decided that we'd all do it and the guy with the slowest time would buy dinner for the rest. But after Floyd Landis announced that he was going to do Leadville, the media started pitting us against each other. I didn't like the feel of that, so I decided against doing the race that time. But I stayed interested and trained for it the following year.
Chris was coaching me. One day we were riding together and I said, "What if we keep it going after Leadville?"
"I think there's another long mountain bike race in British Columbia in September," Chris said.
"No," I said. "What if we did the Tour?"
Chris shot me a look. "You're kidding."
"Maybe. Maybe not."
Chris was genuinely stunned. He also didn't think it was a good idea. For one thing, he said, most comebacks don't work. If I didn't win, I'd go out losing. I guess he was worried about my "legacy." Later, my business partner Bart Knaggs expressed the same concern. Chris asked me to give it more thought.
Don't get me wrong. I'm very proud of winning seven consecutive Tours de France. But there's no way I'm going to let that "legacy" stop me from putting myself on the line again. For one thing, my legacy -- whatever it is -- can't be worth much if a lesser result would somehow tarnish it. Second, I can't let myself become paralyzed for fear of jeopardizing what I've achieved so far. For me, living life to the fullest is a lot about testing myself: accepting challenges, training hard, and then going for it. No way I'm spending the rest of my days avoiding goals. As far as I'm concerned, that would wreck my legacy.
When I mentioned the possibility of a comeback to Mark Higgins, he took it calmly -- not a surprise if you know the guy. He reminded me that when I retired I was all about my kids. Luke, Bella, and Grace were next on my list to tell -- but only after I'd told their mother, Kristin.
Kristin and I had a family vacation with the kids in Santa Barbara. On the way home to Austin, I told her there was something I wanted to run by her. When I explained my desire for a comeback, she cried -- I think in part because I asked her and partly in relief; she'd thought I was going to say I wanted to run for office. She was fi ne about my coming out of retirement. I'd have her support.
My kids knew about my