Riding high

Lance Armstrong cycles into Fort Worth for inaugural spring ride

Lance Armstrong cycles into Fort Worth for inaugural spring ride

Lance Armstrong, George Hincapie
Former teammates Lance Armstrong and George Hincapie. Photo by Elizabeth Kreutz

Former cycling superstar Lance Armstrong will spin through Fort Worth in March to take part in a new race.

Armstrong will ride the 80-mile Gran route at the inaugural Gran Fondo Hincapie-Fort Worth on March 30, race organizers have announced. Armstrong will ride alongside his buddy and former teammate, race founder George Hincapie.

“We’re thrilled to have Lance join us,” says Hincapie in a release. “He’s from the Dallas-Fort Worth area, and of course he has a lot of fans who will be riding in the fondo. His presence will definitely help to take the event to the next level.”

Does Lance Armstrong still have a lot of fans? 

The disgraced cycling champ, an Austin resident, now owns Mellow Johnny’s bike shops, endurance sports brand WEDŪ, and is host of “THEMOVE” podcast, the Hincapie release says. He's also made a fortune as an investor in Uber.

But most folks probably still remember that, at the pinnacle of his cycling career in 2012, Armstrong came tumbling back to earth after being felled by a doping scandal of epic proportions, which stripped him of all seven of his Tour de France titles.

In a December 6, 2018, CNBC interview, he acknowledged the scandal and said he believes doping “isn’t the issue for people. The issue is how I so aggressively defended myself, being litigious, going after people. That’s the thing.” He also pointed out, however, that he raised millions for cancer research through his LiveStrong foundation.

Hincapie, a former top American cyclist, also admitted to doping before apologizing and competing clean for the last years of his career.

But back to the Fort Worth race.

The Fort Worth Gran Fondo will be headquartered at The Shops at Clearfork, and the awards ceremony and family festival will be adjacent to Mellow Johnny’s Bike Shop.

An after-party will take place at Joe T. Garcia’s restaurant, and catering will be provided by Lanny Lancarte II of Righteous Foods, who was named 2018 Chef of the Year in the prestigious CultureMap Tastemaker Awards. Proceeds for the event will benefit FitWorth, a family-focused initiative that promotes healthy and active lifestyles and wellness in Fort Worth.

The original Gran Fondo Hincapie, located in Greenville, South Carolina, and now in its seventh year, "has topped charts and received stellar reviews, acclaimed for the cycling celebrities in attendance, as well as the careful attention to safety, on-site viewing screens, course and segment timing, live tracking and streaming, live bands at the rest stops, and free family festival," the release says.

For more information about the race, visit hincapie.com.

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Writer John Egan contributed to this report.