Armstrong gets USPS band back together for Old Pueblo
Lance Armstrong, George Hincapie, Christian Vande Velde, and Dylan Casey, all former riders with the U.S. Postal Service team, will ride the 24 Hours of Old Pueblo mountain bike race together as a relay team next month.
Race organizer Epic Rides confirmed to VeloNews that Armstrong’s team is indeed registered for the unsanctioned event, which takes place from February 17 to 19.
“We are certainly not going to be contending for any victories, but we’re looking forward to it, looking forward to having a good time, meeting the other racers,” Armstrong said.
Old Pueblo, which takes place outside Tucson, Arizona, is the largest 24-hour mountain bike race in the world and is in its 18th year. The format for a 24-hour race is simple: ride as many laps in 24 hours as possible. The race is contested by individuals, two-person relay teams, and four-person relay teams.
All four of the Old Pueblo relay team rode with Postal, and other versions of the team owned by Tailwind Sports, for much of their careers.
Armstrong is currently serving a lifetime ban from sanctioned competition but has entered a number of unsanctioned events in recent years. He is currently embroiled in a $100 million court battle against the U.S. government. Armstrong’s legal team argued to have the case thrown out in early November, but the judge has not yet issued a ruling.
Hincapie and Vande Velde both served six-month suspensions beginning in October 2012, following admissions of doping during their time at U.S. Postal. Hincapie retired before his suspension was up, and Vande Velde raced one more season with Slipstream Sports. Both have largely stayed away from competition since retirement, though they continue to ride.
“Just bunch of old dudes trying to have fun time in the desert,” Hincapie said of the race via email. “Seems like a fun event, although I’m not particularly excited about the night riding part. I like my sleep.”