A Note from Fatty: I’ll be at Interbike all next week, getting the stories nobody else has the guts to report. On Wednesday, I’ll also be on a panel called “Just the Basics: What You Need to Know About Web 2.0,” which will be in Casanova Room 601 at 2:30. I plan to show up about half an hour early with a few Fat Cyclist t-shirts to give away. If you’re going to be at Interbike, come by and introduce yourself. Then, if you feel like it, stick around for the panel.
I have a crazy theory. I’m almost entirely sure it’s wrong, what with the teeny little problem that I have exactly zero facts (or even rumors) to support it.
But I like my theory, so I’m going to bring it up anyway, in the hope that you too will like this theory, and you’ll spread it as if it were fact. And then it will become rumor.
And — as everyone knows — most rumors have a kernel of truth. And if it has a kernel of truth, well, why can’t the whole thing be true? See, my theory will go from ridiculous notion to plausible possibility in just a few short steps, without me having to do any work.
I should write a book on this technique. I could call it The Secret 2: This Time It Requires Even Less Actual Work.
OK, I’m off track, aren’t I? Yes, yes I am. Where was I? Oh yes, my theory.
As you learned in my world-exclusive announcement last week, Lance Armstrong is returning to professional cycling. What Lance didn’t tell me — that dude can be so coy sometimes! — is what team he’ll be riding with.
So here’s my theory.
Lance Armstrong won’t be joining a team. He’ll be forming one: Team LiveStrong.
OK, that sounds a little nuts, but hear me out. Armstrong has said, “I have decided to return to professional cycling in order to raise awareness of the global cancer burden.” And he’s said he’ll be announcing more on September 24th (probably while I’m presenting at that panel at Interbike, with my luck).
Sure, as a cyclist on Astana he could have some impact, but on a team of his own — a team branded not to sell a product or company, but to raise money and awareness to fight cancer — he could have a much bigger impact.
I know that — for the first time ever — I’d buy a pro team kit. And I would root for Armstrong and his team like I never have before. And I daresay there’d be renewed interest in next year’s Tour.
When you think about it, you know what seems likely? Team Astana — a Trek-supported team with Bruyneel leading the way, but evidently locked out of the TdF due to its name — will be bought by Armstrong, becoming Team LiveStrong.
Would ASO — the organizer of the Tour de France — turn away a team explicitly created to fight cancer, helmed by winningest TdF racer in history?
Uh, no. No it wouldn’t.
I really like my theory. Sure, it’s probably wrong, but a man can dream, right?
And besides, just in case I’m right, I want to be on the record as being the guy who saw it coming.
Just supposing this works out to be real, I furthermore bet the following:
- George Hincapie will find a way to join the team.
- Alberto Contador will find a way to leave the team formerly known as Astana for some other team. He’s at the top of his game; he won’t want to play second fiddle to Lance. Something tells me he won’t have a difficult time finding a new team to race for.
- Rock Racing will look even more ridiculous whenever they race alongside Team LiveStrong. Consider: one team is dedicated to fighting cancer, the other team is dedicated to selling very expensive pants (among other very expensive things).
- FatCyclist.com will make a case to many people at LiveStrong that it should be the official blogger of Team LiveStrong. This case will take the form of open letters. Ultimately, I believe that these pleas will not be successful. But it’s worth trying anyway.
What do you think Armstrong will announce on 9/24? By all means, feel free to augment, supplement, or debunk my theory with your own.