July 08, 2004
Armstrong will skip Athens Olympics
Lance Armstrong announced he'll be skipping the Olympics in Athens in August.
According to ThePaceline.com, Armstrong's online fan club:
He will return to the United States after the Tour to spend time with his children. Lance said, “Spending this much time away from the kids is too hard.”
I'm not sure if the USA Cycling is required to abide by its selection rules now that the team has been named, but if it is, look for Floyd Landis to take Armstrong's place, since he was 6th in the 5-man selection process.
If the coaches get to choose, they ought to take Freddy Rodriguez, the US pro champion, and probably the best American sprinter.
Update: Looks like USA Cycling was caught by surprise here. Their response to the announcement mentions that a replacement would be chosen by coaches discretionary nomination, approved by the U.S. Olympic Committee.