What's all this talk about Lance Armstrong starting favourite towin the Tour Down Under in his first comeback race in three years?
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7 Apr 2015 - 11:32 PM  UPDATED 13 Apr 2015 - 3:36 PM

What's all this talk about Lance Armstrong starting favourite to
win the Tour Down Under in hisfirst comeback race in three years?
From all reports, the seven time Tour de France winner is"training the house down", yet it doesn't mean he's primed to win the first big pro-event of the year.
The less informed may argue over Lance's return to the
pro-circuit after overcoming his battle with testicular cancer in 1999.
Remember his monumental performance when gracing the colours of US
Postal for the first time in the Tourde
France prologue of that year? Few would have believed, others are still
convinced he was helped by performance-enhancing substances. Either
way, it marked the start of an era - onethat probablymay never be
repeated.
So why can Lance win the Tour after threeyears off the bike in '99 and not take out Australia's premier stage event in 2009?
For starters, the TdU runs only five days compared tothe gruelling three week Tour de
France. Secondly, the big Texan sees Adelaide as the perfect start to
generate some early season form rather than be first across the line.
Besides, TdU organisers are doing their utmost to promote Armstrong's cancer foundation.
Some sceptics may argue the cancer promotion is a smoke screen if Lance fails in his quest for a successful comeback.
I say so what!
Lance is a living legend and win, lose or draw he will be the
center of attention in Adelaide whether he comes first, second or last.
He has nothing to prove.
I compare his appearance on two wheels to Tiger Woods making a
return to the golf course once his self-imposed sabbatical ends later
in the year. If Tiger never wins another tournament in an already
illustrious career does it really matter?
I still have my doubts on Lance fulfilling his promise of competing in the Tour de France. He seems to befinding more excuses NOT to race, but that's a subject for another day.
Accommodation in Adelaide has been hard to find for several months - such is the interest of Lance's return.
Australians have traditionally dominated the TdU in its 10 year history and I predict that may still be the case this time around.
For the record, I'm tipping Allan Davis to follow in the footsteps of Stuart O'Grady, Michael Rogers, Patrick Jonker and Simon Gerrans and for the Queenslander toimprove on his overall second placing from last year.
As for Lance? I'll make a safe prediction by tipping hefinishes the TdUsomewhere in the top 100 which will be an achievement in itself.
Welcome to Australia Lance, enjoy the sun, thesights and
thesounds. It goes without saying you'll enjoy being in the spotlight
yet again.
Thanks for the memories of the pastand thanks for sticking around just that little bit longer.