Although official confirmation has not been forthcoming, it is believed that American cycling superstar Lance Armstrong will participate in the 30th edition of the Algarve Tour, set to take place between February 18 and February 22.
Armstrong, the current boyfriend of singer Sheryl Crow, is expected to compete alongside the Colombian Victor Hugo Pena, Spaniard José Luis Rubiera, Russian Viatcheslav Ekimov and Portuguese cyclist José Azevedo, who is enthusiastic about Armstrong’s participation. “I would really like him to come to Portugal. I think it would be good for Portuguese cycling, which needs a stimulus to re-launch,” said the cyclist, who also revealed that he would like to represent his country at the Athens Olympics.
Refusing to confirm or deny Armstrong’s presence at the event, the president of the Algarve Cycling Association, Rogério Teixeira, would only say: “We are going to have an excellent selection of cyclists, perhaps the best ever.” Armstrong, a 32-year-old from Austin, Texas, has already won five Tour de France competitions, equalling the records of Anquetil, Bernard Hinault, Eddy Merckx and Miguel Indurain. In addition to his sporting achievements, he has also conquered cancer, amply demonstrating, in his words, “persistence and determination – the requirements to turn dreams into reality”.