No matter what your feelings are about Lance Armstrong, you cannot deny that he is serious about his comeback, and he has already thrown down the gauntlet. Whatever his reasons for returning are, he intends to come back at the top.
From Bike Radar:
Who the hell is Linus Gerdemann?
Recently, German rider Linus Gerdemann said that he was not pleased with Armstrong returning to the pro peloton and that Armstrong's generation and its propensity for drug use is better off out of the sport. When asked, Armstrong deflected Gerdemann's implied accusation:
"He's right, I am older. I raced with Sean Kelly, Stephen Roche, Miguel Indurain and Greg LeMond of all people. I have been around a long time and I don't know who the hell Linus Gerdemann is, but I know that when I rolled up in 1992, I started winning races. And when I roll up in 2009, I'm gonna be winning races. He better hope he doesn't get in a breakaway with me because I can still ride hard," said the Texan.
I doubt Linus Gerdemann will be very popular in the peloton. His comments will do nothing but provoke Armstrong into a higher level of focus. Lance Armstrong has always let his legs do his talking for him, and when others talk about him, it just seems to incentivize him to work harder and harder.
All of the other riders now can assume that their odds of winning the 2009 Tour just decreased.
“Lance Armstrong undecided about riding in the Tour”
Who believes that?
Armstrong is the ultimate at practicing gamesmanship. Rumors used to surface in December that Armstrong was having a “little knee issue”. Jan Ulrich would go right back to the dining room table, finish off his supplemental winter 15#, and Armstrong would win another Tour. The knee would never be mentioned again.
Read between the lines—Armstrong is back, and he intends to dominate.