Surprise and disbelief at possible Armstrong return

Riders and managers at the Tour of Spain Tuesday reacted to the rumors of Lance Armstrong’s return to the sport:

Johan Bruyneel (Astana general manager): We’ve heard the rumors starting a few weeks ago when he rode this mountain bike race (Leadville 100). Right now all we can say it’s a rumor. What’s sure, if he wanted to come back, I wouldn’t say no. And I could never imagine him riding for another team. It would be here. And if he did come back, it would be to win. But right now, all I can say is that it’s rumors.

Alberto Contador (Astana): I don’t know about the truth of the rumor, but it certainly appears as something surprising and curious. I view it as a rumor that would revolutionize the world of cycling. He would be a good teammate and it would be a unique experience and it would be something of pride because he’s a rider I really admire a lot. I don’t know what to make of the story, but if it’s true and he does come back, he certainly would be able to do just about anything he wanted.

Alejandro Valverde (Caisse d’Epargne): If he did come back, he’d be ready to race the Tour, even though I don’t know if he could win it. I know that he hasn’t lost his physical form and if he begins to train in earnest he could be right there. I find it hard to believe that he’d come back, but if there are rumors, maybe something’s there. Astana with Contador and Armstrong would be one hell of a team!

Carlos Sastre (CSC-Saxo Bank): He’s a rider who can put your hair on end just by watching him on TV. After three years of inactivity, it would be difficult to return to the highest level, but he is Lance Armstrong. If he wants to return it’s because he believes he has an opportunity.”

Egoi Martínez (Euskaltel-Euskadi): I don’t know whether to take it seriously or if it’s a joke. When I was with him (at Discovery Channel), once he was retired, he said he would leave sport behind him and lead another life. At the same time, maybe he’s set himself a challenge, but I would find it strange if he came back. No matter how you look at it, he’s Lance Armstrong and he’s capable of anything. He could race the Tour and even win it.