Friday, August 3, 2007

Speculation grows about Lance vs. Landis in Leadville

Will Lance be in Leadville? Seven months after Lance Armstrong said he couldn't ride in the Leadville 100, there is growing speculation that he might enter the race after all.

Race director Ken Chlouber said last week Armstrong was in Leadville recently to ride a portion of the course with longtime Colorado Springs-based coach Chris Carmichael and believes the seven-time Tour de France champion will ride in the August 11 race. Landis confirmed last month that he plans to participate.

"They rode the course and Chris called me that night to talk about it," Chlouber said. "I think it would be great if Lance came to the race, and after talking to Chris, I think he's probably coming."

Carmichael recently wrote a blog on the Carmichael Training Systems website about the early July Leadville training ride, which covered about 45 miles and included four of the course's five climbing sections, but didn't say whether Armstrong would be doing the race or not.

"For the record, Lance is not only quite fit, but he's also very good on a mountain bike," Carmichael said in the blog.

Armstrong announced last November that he planned to ride in the Leadville race. The plan was to ride with Carmichael, who finished the race in 2006, and Bart Knaggs, president of the Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team, Mari Holden, a world champion and Olympic silver medalist rider, and Morris Denton, vice president of global marketing for computer chip giant AMD (one of Team Discovery's sponsors). Carmichael later divulged the group's simple but potentially pricey wager: Last one to the finish line buys dinner and drinks in Aspen.

But in late December, two weeks after Landis said he'd also enter the race, Armstrong cited a scheduling conflict and backed out of his original commitment to ride in the Leadville 100.

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