Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Armstrong on XTERRA

(Courtesy of

The 7-time Tour de France champion is back where he started. Triathlon. Well, almost back where he started. Now it's off-road triathlon for him. After debuting in this iteration of triathlon with a 5th place finish at XTERRA Nationals in Ogden, Utah last month, he's expected to queue up to the start in Maui this weekend for XTERRA Worlds.

Because Lance is not coming to swimming and running late in life—as was the case with Udo Bolts, Laurent Jalabert and other retired cycling standouts who moved to triathlon—he's not thinking age-group or survival. He's been in a tear in the pool, swimming sets with the likes of former pro triathlete and standout swimmer Rip Esselstyn, as he reengages with his root sport.

Lance has been working behind the scenes on a project of particular import to Slowtwitch: bicycle safety legislation. He took a few moments to talk to us about the upcoming race in Maui, and about bicycle safety.

SLOWTWITCH: When was the last time you had this much enthusiasm for training and racing? Were you this eager in your Tour de France comeback? Or, is this better?

LANCE ARMSTRONG: They are very different. Coming back to the Tour was a lot of pressure. Even if I tried to ignore it, it was there in spades. That inevitably leads to having less fun. And I came back to a sport that had become bitter and toxic in a sense. Everyone pointing fingers and trying to cover their rears all at the same time. It was a total free-for-all, and the cycling media—if we can call them media—just fed on the fuel. I'm glad it's behind me.

Coming back to tri, even sporadically, has been fun. It's what I feel like doing for now, so we'll see how it goes. And honestly, the best part for me is the training and the sense of satisfaction I get from that. I'm 40, I'm busy, I have 5 kids, and a foundation to lead, as well as business ventures, travel and so forth. But I still love getting out there and breaking a sweat. It's cheap therapy, if you know what I mean. Wait, yes you do know what I mean. We all know what I mean.

SLOWTWITCH: What's your strongest event now, relative to the other XTERRA racers you'll face? That might seem a joke question to our readers, but, I'm wondering whether your swim finish place in this race might be on a par with where you'll slot in during the MTB leg?

LANCE ARMSTRONG: Good question. I learned a lot in Ogden and have made some adjustments to my training. I secretly knew my bike leg would suffer in Utah. Too much travel, not enough time spent at altitude, and not enough intensity in my training. I have tried—and tried is the operative word—to correct this. I feel better—stronger—and I'll leave it at that.


Bryan Payne said...

Knowing your luck.....he'll now be there. haha


Simon said...

Yep he's there all right - bugger bugger bugger