Banned cyclist Lance Armstrong will ride stages 13 and 14 one day ahead of the Tour de France peloton as part of a charity ride organised by Geoff Thomas

Lance Armstrong will ride stages 13 and 14 of the 2015 Tour de France a day ahead of the peloton as part of a ride in aid of a blood cancer charity.

The Texan announced his intention to join his friend and fellow cancer survivor, Geoff Thomas, back in March, with the former England footballer riding every stage a day ahead of the peloton.

UCI president Brian Cookson said it was ‘completely inappropriate’ for the banned cyclist to return to the French race, but Thomas believes Armstrong will provide a boost to the group of riders.

>>> Geoff Thomas: Why I invited Lance Armstrong back to the Tour

“We know Lance’s involvement has split opinion, so we’ve tried to be as respectful as possible,” Thomas told the BBC.

“The stages Lance will be riding come towards the end of week two, when I know all the riders will need some support.

“I know his arrival will give them the encouragement they will need to carry on with this gruelling challenge and in turn raise as much money as possible for blood cancer patients.”

Armstrong will ride the 198.5km hilly stage between Muret and Rodez on July 17, followed by the 178.5km stage from Rodez to the hill-top finish at Mende.

Thomas was diagnosed with Leukaemia in 2003 and inspired by Armstrong’s story the former Crystal Palace captain rode the routes of the 2005 and 2007 Tour de France routes.

  • Bob

    At least he finally admitted it, it’s more than a lot of the so-called great riders of the past ever did, yet are still venerated as icons of the sport – GL Lance

  • Gisella

    He won his 7 TdF for a unique reason. Cancer made the opportunity. His morphology was altered dramatically(10 kilo weight loss from chemotherapy). Normally, after a serious illness the primordial forces in the biloogy of a human body bring the weight back as a survival mechanism. This did not happen with Armstrong and i wonder about that. How did he keep it down? There was no loss of power. In this sport the differences between the best is very marginal so in his case he was set for what happened. I first saw this at the Vuelta in ’99 where he finished 4th! He did not win on drugs at all. In fact, he was using them before but could not EVEN finish a TdF. All things being equal (all were druggies) he comes out winning fair and square 7 in a row and beats Anquetil,Hinault and Merckx along with indurain. Again, I was his biggest critic and I think to this day few,if any, understand what took place. I was his critic because I did not like his personality! The truth is a difficult thing to handle for most people. He should be reinstated.

  • Roger

    I was referring to the “top fuel days” comment above, which I presume meant the period from 1990 to 2010 or so, when EPO use was particularly prevalent, and when the authorities started coming down particularly hard on riders known or believed to have doped.

  • Roger

    They aren’t all dead. Flawed characters maybe, but they were all fantastic cyclists nonetheless.

  • John Senior

    In terms of cycling he’s where he should be – a discredited cheat- sure others cheated but they didn’t take people to court about it, threaten them or ruin their lives. The reason no one should have anything to do with Armstrong is he’s a bully – a deeply unpleasant over Alpha male who deep down doesn’t know what the problem is and has only apologised because the weight of evidence against him was so great. People who’re still in thrall to him should go and have a chat with some of the people who he’s threatened harassed and belittled.
    Do I object to him raising money for charity – that’s not for me to decide – I don’t have cancer so I’m not qualified to say..but the end can’t always justify the means and if thats your only argument then it’s a pretty thin one…
    and what the …is TJ doing One more cyclist who’s performances you can no longer trust because you will never know what he talks about with Armstrong .. like micro dosing, doctors who’re sympathetic to therapeutic exemption certificates..what cortisone did for me..etc sadly he’s now in the organisation for not credible cycling.

  • NitroFan

    Cheating Larry ever the cynic. I do not think his involvment has anything to do with raising money, this is all about Larry. Sadly there seem to be a large number of applogists that really do not get it out there.

  • Gisella

    I was the greatest and earliest critic of Lance Armstrong. He had the personality of a warthog! BUT, his doing the charity ride is fine with me. He was one of almost all doing the performance enhancement via drugs. I think it adds to the history of the Tour.

  • Vance Harvey

    Exactly…. spot on, and I hope they make millions for the charity.

  • abel

    Lance train as hard as any cyclist and maybe harder and he looked good dancing on his bike and climbing mountains. Still the best.

  • Ian Boutelle

    I doubt he cares who loves him or not. He is there supporting his friend and a good cause.

  • Ian Boutelle

    Most of the French still love him !

  • Ian Boutelle

    7 X td F Winner !!!

    Very interested and proud of how he has handled himself the past few years .

  • sdffsdfdfsdfsd

    Bob Geldorf wasn’t a professional athele. What he did was irrelevant.

  • Norfolk_n_Chance

    The Cannibal was a dirty rider. Didn’t like the Badg so don’t care about him… he gave up because Lemond whooped him. That’s right!

  • Norfolk_n_Chance

    All those riders are filthy and all died because
    of drug use. You have no clue if you admired
    those ; ) Just to be clear drugs are not (underlined and in bold) allowed in the sport of professional cycling…. unless you lie a teeny bit and never get caught #DrugsAreBad #MmmmK

  • gerry

    Rubbish – cycling’s always been full of drugs – regrettable but goes with the territory – the best riders self-destructed – no not all- the Cannibal and the Badger are still there!

  • alboo balboa

    Lance Armstong ,old news ,not interested.
    Why do the sporting press still give this guy the oxygen of publicity?
    Look at the record books he didn’t win any tours ! None ! Zero !
    Interest in him None ! Zero!

  • Chris Parry

    All the LA haters lol….. he was the best on the juice simples, and we all know most were on it and have been caught ….. lance was never caught never tested positive for epo, steroids, HGH etc… would you admit to it in that situation IF that was you !!! i doubt it,,,, let him do his charity work…. so what if he cheated, are we all honest 100% i doubt that to …. bob geldof did drugs no one mentioned anything when he does those feed the world gigs which has generated billions to no avail by the way???? whys that then?????

  • ian franklin

    I don’t pander to sociopaths. Can’t you see what this guy is doing?

  • ummm…

    How do you rationalize watching this sport? Are you wishfully ignorant or do you just explain away the hypocrisy. Most people didn’t like LA. However, Id say most aren’t singing your tune – such a simplistic view of the issues at hand.

  • ummm…

    Damn, so most people in and around pro cycling should be following right behind him, some in front. And what will you be doing while they all fall off the edge, crying about your favorites?

  • ummm…

    He did the tour unrepairable damage? The history of cycling has done the damage to itself. C’mon read your history book. Either except the reality of pro sport or stop watching. In a sport where admitted dopers and abetters are at all levels and all facets of its administration it feels a bit disingenuous to yell foul here. No LA apologist, just a realist. In fact, the hypocrisy behind his well anticipated lynching kinda ruined it for me. I would have appreciated a more even handed approaced. Truth and reconciliation my bottom. Don’t be part of the ignorant.

  • Peter Marlow

    Well said Ian. Chapeau.

  • Peter Marlow

    Psychiatric help is available.

  • doublefootballhappiness

    NO one has done more to destroy cycling and sports ; if a charity has to use this bully and chemical cheat of all time; the problem is the charity and the people that run it. Get a real champion. WAIT: lets raise money with this all time drug cheer and loser ; what a lousy pathetic message

  • elan

    What is innapropriate is Brian Cookson and Team Sky.Like no one from their squad and no one still riding in the races,or in management has never been involved with doping.Stop blaming all cyclings problems on Lance.All cyclists who involved in doping has damaged cycling,thats a fact.I for one would gladly support him in a charity run.Lets hope millions of dollars get raised.He has done more to raise funds for charity than any cyclist,and it may help us all some day.

  • doublefootballhappiness

    go ride off a cliff, no one will miss the biggest chemical cheat and bully ; OH WAIT, it is for charity. Just beat it

  • Roger

    No. They were rubbish. The best riders all self-destructed: Ullrich, Pantani, Rasmussen, Vandenbroucke. What a waste of talent.

  • Vance Harvey

    Cos he likes to rile people like you – who can’t resist biting at the bait every time his name is mentioned….

  • ian franklin

    Why on earth do the French let him into their country. He did the Tour unrepairable damage and is only using his excuse of ‘charity’ as a way to continue taking the p..s

  • Norfolk_n_Chance

    The Top Fuel days were the best! Made stage racing Epic. Sexed up the Grand Tours. Made the build week up tres (very) exciting because loads of ex-pro’s come clean in the build up (Don’t they!). Made rest days very exciting, because as everybody knows the rest days always produces a new drugs story. Also made you wonder who was charging up over winter and storing the blood in the Zanussi. It’s just a shame nothing like this EVER happens these days.

    Vive le Tour…. oh and while I’m on Vive Lance

  • Gary Kempster-Smith

    It’s not like he is competing again is it, the man is doing some very valuable charity work. If anyone has a problem with it they should crawl back in their hole

  • Vance Harvey

    What a sensible comment; I agree totally with you.

  • Michael

    Couldn’t think of anything better to write about?

  • Mike Prytherch

    He is raising money for charity, no matter what has happened in the past this is a good thing for the cancer charities, I hope he raises a lot of money and it helps cancer suffers, people want Lance punished, fair enough I can understand that, but not at the expense of the charities.

  • Vance Harvey

    Guess this will now bring out the lynch mobs again, yelling and squawking for blood – and getting all apoplectic…. watch your blood pressure boys!