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Lance Armstrong pulls out of Tour of Flanders visit

Joe Robinson
27 Mar 2018

Armstrong to be replaced by present Belgian and former Everton football manager Roberto Martinez

Lance Armstrong has cancelled his trip to the Tour of Flanders at the last minute due to 'personal drama'. The American will now be replaced by current Belgian and former Everton football manager Roberto Martinez. 

In a press release on the official Tour of Flanders webpage, it was confirmed that the former seven-time Tour de France winner will no longer be attending the Tour of Flanders Business Academy this weekend as a special guest speaker. 

The Texan himself expressed his reget at no longer being able to attend.

'It is with great sadness and regret that, due to a very serious family and personal matter, I cannot attend this year's Tour of Flanders,' he said.

'Without going into too much detail, and out of respect for my family’s privacy, I must stay close to my home here in Texas to deal with the situation,' added Armstrong.

'I’m very happy that Wouter Vandenhaute was able to find a great speaker for the Tour of Flanders Business Academy event in the person of Roberto Martinez, the coach of the Belgian Football Team, The Red Devils.

'I’m sure he has a very interesting story to tell and have been told he’s a great fan of cycling.' 

Martinez will now assume the role of guess speaker before taking the Belgian football team to the World Cup in Russia later this Summer.

Organisers Flanders Classics are also offering refunds for any customer looking for reimbursement.

The withdrawl of Armstrong could potentially be good news for UCI president David Lappartient. The Frenchman had previously stated he would not attend the one-day classic if the banned former cyclist was in attendance.

However, with him no longer in the picture the window for Lappartient attending his first Flanders as president could reopen.