Lance Armstrong won’t get marketing cash or support from Colorado Classic organizers, but the disgraced cyclist still will host his popular “Stages” cycling podcast from a Denver winery during the inaugural pro cycling race.
Organizers abandoned a marketing partnership with the Armstrong after the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency — which spent years doggedly investigating the cyclist and allegations he was doping — raised concerns that the deal might be a violation of the admitted doper’s lifetime ban from pro cycling.
If organizers behind the inaugural bike race went forward with the Armstrong deal — which provided support for production and travel expenses for the Texas athlete traveling to Colorado Springs, Breckenridge and Denver for live-stream podcasts from his Airstream studio — the race could lose its international sanctioning, a fatal blow that would likely pull top cyclists from the race roster.
“In light of concerns expressed by USADA, we came to a mutual agreement that it is in the best interest of the Colorado Classic to cancel the marketing partnership with the ‘Stages’ podcast,” race spokesman Ben Davis said.
Davis said organizers “welcome all media outlets,” but the deal with Armstrong’s nascent “Stages” — which he debuted during last month’s Tour de France, harvesting more than 5 million downloads — irked USADA. Last week, when race organizer RPM Events announced they had enlisted Armstrong to follow the race with Austin radio personality JB Hager, the agency called RPM to share the rules behind Armstrong’s ban.
Those rules prevent banned athletes from “participating in any activity or competition” hosted by a…
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