BRUSSELS — Authorities in Belgium have criticized an invitation to disgraced former cyclist Lance Armstrong as a special guest at next year’s Tour of Flanders cycling classic.
Lance Armstrong won seven Tour de France titles, but the American was stripped of all of them because of doping. Organizers said Thursday that he will be a keynote speaker at an event entitled the “Tour of Flanders Business Academy presents sports heroes.”
Regional Sports Minister Philippe Muyters called it “a totally wrong signal” to aspiring riders and the cycling world at large.
Professor Peter Van Eenoo of Ghent University, a leading anti-doping expert, said the invitation was “totally uncalled for,” adding “this from an organization which gets public subsidies.”
The Tour of Flanders is one of the best-known one-day classics in the world, combining long stretches of cobblestones with a dozen steep hills. Armstrong never won the race.
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Derek Bouchard-Hall is resigning as chief executive of USA Cycling at the end of the year and less three years after getting the job.
The chairman of USA Cycling’s board of directors, Bob Stapleton, will help run the organization while a replacement is found. Stapleton said Friday the search has already begun.
Bouchard-Hall plans to take over an undisclosed company with close ties to USA Cycling.
Bouchard-Hall came from the retail sector of the cycling industry, and was tasked with rebuilding an organization that had fallen into disarray. There was a major schism between USA Cycling’s goals of fostering the sport at the amateur level while also pushing its high-performance program.
Bouchard-Hall wound up overhauling USA Cycling’s entire structure, hiring a wave of new coaches and administrators to push forward its world championship and Olympic teams.
MADRID — American cycling team Trek-Segafredo says one of its members has been taken to a hospital after going missing for several hours in northeastern Spain.
The team says director Steven De Jongh was “conscious” after being found by authorities on Monday. It did not immediately give any other details.
De Jongh’s wife called for help on Twitter, saying her husband went missing after going on a morning ride near the city of Girona. She later said a helicopter found him, breathing, and with a pulse.
The team says police were involved in the search.