By Andrew Hood
Fans will be hearing from Lance Armstrong long after he retires and they’ll get a peek of what’s on Armstrong’s horizon later this year.
The six-time Tour de France champion has penned a deal to host a weekly yet-to-be-titled radio show on satellite radio provider SIRIUS set to debut later this year. Armstrong will be one of handful of top athletes hosting their own program which will include a mix of music, interviews and call-ins from listeners.
“SIRIUS has already gathered an amazing group of sports heroes … and I’m honored to be included among them,” Armstrong said. “Each week, I’ll share some of my experiences, speak with listeners, bring on special guests, and most importantly play some of my favorite music.”
The radio channel will debut Armstrong on its so-called Faction program, which also features Tony Hawk’s Demolition Radio, hosted by the legendary skateboarder; world champion surfer Kelly Slater’s Radio KA-OS; Sixty Minute Set with Kerri Walsh, hosted by the Olympic Gold Medalist, and upcoming programs featuring Viva La Bam host Bam Margera and beach volleyball icon Sinjin Smith.
“Lance will bring his life’s experiences, interests and lifestyle to the SIRIUS microphone every week,” said Scott Greenstein, President of Entertainment and Sports, SIRIUS. “Lance also likes to have fun (and) he takes advantage of all that his hometown of Austin, Texas has to offer in the form of great music.”
The commercial-free satellite radio features 65 music channels and 55 channels of sports, talk, weather and other topics for $12.95 per month.
Valverde optimistic about future
Alejandro Valverde says he wants to race in the 2005 Tour de France with the hopes of “learning” in what will be his first of three years with Illes Balears-Banesto.
“I join a serious team that aspires to win everything,” said Valverde in a Monday press conference where he was officially welcomed to the team. “It’s very important for me to be on a serious team, as they have shown with their years as Banesto. I will be a team leader, but there will also be Paco Mancebo and Vladimir Karpets. They’re two good friends and there will be no problems between us. We will get along very well.”
Valverde was the focus of an intense bidding war as Illes Balears-Banesto was among several teams hoping to snag the 24-year-old Spanish rider. Valverde won 15 races in 2004 and finished fourth in the world rankings.
When Comunidad Valenciana-Kelme didn’t make the grade to be among 20 teams in the Pro Tour set to debut in 2005, Valverde let it be known he wanted to join a team that assured him a place in cycling’s major races.
“I want to go to the Tour to learn,” Valverde said. “I cannot expect to go to the Tour the first try and win. It’s impossible. I will go to get a feeling for this race, then I will aspire to win. I don’t feel pressured by signing with Illes Balears. I was a leader at Kelme and the pressure is what you put on yourself. I will work to day, without worrying about it.” The slow hand of Italian justice
Ten riders and two soigneurs are set to face an Italian judge Nov. 3 in a court room for allegations of doping linked to the San Remo raids in the 2001 Giro d’Italia.
The slow hand of Italian justice will bring together investigations dating back to police raids on team hotels in the 2001 Giro. A stage was eventually cancelled following the uncertainty of the high-profile police action.
Among the products discovered by police were banned insulin injections, human growth hormones, corticoids and diuretics. The riders and soigneurs face charges under the Italian anti-doping law adopted in 2000.
The 10 riders include Alberto Elli, Giuliano Figueras, Pavel Padrnos (a current rider on U.S. Postal Service/Discovery Channel, but on Saeco at the time), Stefano Zanini, Dario Frigo, Domenico Romano, Giuseppe Di Grande, Daniele De Paoli, Giampaolo Mondini and Ermanno Brignoli. The two soigneurs Primo Pregnolato and Xavier Francisco Fernández. Cioni receives UCI permission for high hematocrit
Dario Cioni – the Italian rider excluded from the national team after pre-race screenings indicated a high red blood cell count ahead of the road world championships – has been given clearance by the UCI to race with a high hematocrit.
Cioni said he underwent extensive testing with the UCI to receive the certificate. Several other riders with naturally high levels have also received certificates, including 2004 Giro d’Italia champion Damiano Cunego.
“Since 1992, I have recorded my elevated levels of hematocrit,” Cioni told DataSport. “My brother also has a high level, so it’s genetic. I faced the same situation when I raced mountain bikes.”
Cioni is set to ride with Liquigas in 2005.
Boonen undergoes surgery
Belgian cyclist Tom Boonen, who won two stages in this year’s Tour de France, had an operation on Monday to correct a congenital disorder on his intestine. The 24-year-old, who is 10th in the International Cycling Union rankings, is expected to be released from the Heilig Hart hospital in Mol, Limburg next weekend said his Quick Step team.
Boonen, tipped to take over as the world’s leading sprinter, began to suffer with the problem just before this year’s world championships in Verona, Italy and had to quit during the race.
Named by Belgium’s former world champion Johan Museeuw as his successor, Boonen on Friday withdrew from the Curacao race starting in the Dutch Antilles on October 30. — By AFP