Lance Armstrong has withdrawn from the epic Leadville 100 mountain-bike race he finished second in 2008, then came back to win in record time in 2009.
A Lance spokesperson cites “lingering effects” of hip injuries suffered in this year’s Tour de France. But if we had mounting legal problems from a widening federal doping investigation, if every time we appeared in public we would have to answer doping allegations, and if the media were hounding us for comment on doping charges … well, our hip would hurt too!
Key indicator: No tweets from Lance. Usually he’s pretty up front about something as big as withdrawing from Leadville, yet the Lance Twitter has gone dark.
Much of his public interfacing these days is being done through spokespersons, a sign of lawyerly caution.
Normally we’d give the nod to Mr. Clean, Dave Wiens, in this year’s race, since he won it six straight times before Lance’s victory last year.
But Wiens said last fall he wasn’t going to follow intense training for this year’s race. And Lance’s Tour de France teammate, Levi Leipheimer, is looking fit and ready (although doping allegations are descending on him as well).
Should be a good race. You can follow it real time here.