Hero to Zero: What Is Lance Armstrong Doing Now?

He was once the most famous sportsman on Earth - but what's the disgraced former champion doing now?

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reviewed by Rory McAllister
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In a whirlwind tale of adversity, triumph, disgrace, and reinvention, Lance Armstrong’s life has been nothing if not dramatic.

An iconic figure who pedaled his way to seven consecutive Tour de France titles, his legacy turned to ashes with the greatest doping scandal in the history of the sport.

From overcoming a life-threatening bout with cancer to establishing the globally recognized Livestrong Foundation, Armstrong’s story is one of continuous evolution.

But what is Lance Armstrong doing now? As he shifts gears from the saddle to entrepreneurial ventures, podcasts, TV shows, and even a deep-diving documentary, one thing remains clear: Lance Armstrong is indefatigable. 

Whether you adore him, loathe him, or find yourself swaying somewhere in between, there’s no denying the multifaceted trajectory of his journey.

Let’s dive in!

Lance Armstrong wearing the yellow jersey at the 2005 Tour de France gestures to the camera.
Credit: Sebastian David Tingkær, CC BY 2.0. Edited from the original.

Who Is Lance Armstrong?

Lance Armstrong is a renowned American cyclist who won seven Tour de France titles consecutively from 1999 to 2005.

However, in 2012, Armstrong was stripped of all these titles and handed a lifetime ban from cycling by the UCI when slow-burning allegations of EPO and other performance-enhancing drug use and an investigation by USADA finally came to a head.

He finally admitted to doping in a 2013 interview with Oprah Winfrey.

Armstrong began his athletic career in triathlon before shifting his focus to cycling, where he joined the Motorola team and went on to win the Road Race World Championships.

A significant moment in his life was when he was diagnosed with testicular cancer, but he managed to overcome it after treatment. His triumph over cancer was followed by his return to cycling, where he joined the USPS team and clinched the 1999 Tour de France title.

Off the bike, Armstrong founded the Livestrong Foundation to raise cancer awareness, which became widely recognized for its iconic yellow “Livestrong” bracelet.

However, Armstrong’s career was marred by persistent doping allegations. His involvement in doping was eventually confirmed, and this led to his titles being stripped and a ban from professional cycling.

Having been a hero to so many, Lance Armstrong’s legacy remains a contentious topic to this day.

Some argue that his actions should be viewed in the context of an era in which doping was raging through the sport like wildfire.

For many, though, it was his ruthlessness in attacking those who could have (or sought to) expose him during his career, such as former soigneur Emma O’Reilly, journalist David Walsh, and Italian cyclist Filippo Simeoni, that is truly indefensible and provides the greatest obstacle to his attempts to rehabilitate his image.

What Is Lance Armstrong Doing Now?

1. Business Owner

If you were wondering “Where is Lance Armstrong now?”, he spends much of his time working as an entrepreneur in Austin, Texas, his beloved hometown. 

For those with a burning passion for two wheels, Armstrong’s “Mellow Johnny’s” bike shop, which opened in 2008, is your temple. 

Here, you can find everything from the latest gear to nostalgic jerseys. It’s a love letter to the iconic yellow jersey of the Tour de France – “maillot jaune” – woven with the expertise of a Tour de France veteran.

Also contained within Mellow Johnny’s is the “Juan Pelota Cafe“.

Why the name, you ask? Well, in a tongue-in-cheek nod to his testicular cancer, ‘Juan’ phonetically plays with the number ‘one,’ and ‘Pelota’ means ‘ball’ in Spanish.

And speaking of bicycles, Armstrong isn’t just in the business of selling them. He has his fingers on the pulse of the industry, advising SRAM Corporation, and holding a slice of the pie at Trek Bicycle.

Beyond his ventures in the coffee and cycling retail businesses, he has dived into the venture capital realm. Armstrong co-founded a venture capital firm named Next Ventures

This firm is dedicated to investing in startups that operate within sports, fitness, nutrition, and wellness. With an impressive goal to raise $75 million for its first fund, the company has already secured $24.5 million.

It’s evident that Armstrong’s investment interests don’t just stop at cycling and wellness businesses. His involvement with startups like Uber and DocuSign showcases his broader investments.

At Next Ventures, Armstrong, together with co-founder Mel Strong and a team of industry veterans and professionals, aims to tap into the expansive global wellness market, which is estimated to be worth around $3.4 trillion.

2. Podcaster

Ever tuned into “The Move” or “The Forward” podcasts? If not, you might want to give them a whirl.

Lance Armstrong’s podcasts focus primarily on in-depth analysis and perspectives on cycling races like the Tour de France and other Classics. It stands out by offering insights that go beyond the average sports podcast.

Armstrong and guests such as former teammate George Hincapie and serial Triathlon World Champion Mark Allen discuss race dynamics, significant comebacks, and the overall impacts of specific races.

Recorded from an Airstream near Armstrong’s home in Aspen, Colorado, they provide candid and “raw” content with a distinct touch of humor brought about by the camaraderie between Armstrong and Hincapie.

The addition of a video component enhances the listener’s experience, making it more engaging.

Through his company WEDU, Armstrong has established a strong media and event organization brand. This venture includes not just podcasts but also bike races, merchandise sales, and a subscription service.

His podcasts have managed to gain significant momentum and have attracted corporate sponsorships, notably from brands such as Patron and High Brew Coffee.

3. Media Appearances

But wait, there’s more! How does a simulated race to colonize Mars sound? In Fox’s “Stars on Mars“, Armstrong joins a star-studded cast in a race against time and Martian challenges. 

“Stars on Mars” is a reality TV series resembling “Survivor.” The show is based in a simulated Martian environment set in Coober Pedy, Australia.

The show, which airs on Fox, is hosted by William Shatner. Participants are tasked with missions aimed at conquering the Martian environment.

The participants, termed “celebronauts,” consist of various celebrities, including ex-professional athletes and influencers.

During the show, these celebs are put through various challenges that require them to handle emergencies, engage in competitive strategies, and perform tasks all while donning spacesuits, simulating the experience of being on Mars.

Other noteworthy participants include Ronda Rousey, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, and a slew of others.

Throughout the series, crew members are eliminated weekly, all competing for the title of the “brightest star in the galaxy”.

4. Documentary Work

Lance Armstrong rides for Astana during his comeback at the 2009 Tour de France.
Lance Armstrong rides for Astana during his comeback at the 2009 Tour de France.
Credit: Anita RitenourCC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons.

If you thought you knew everything about Armstrong, think again. In collaboration with ESPN, he’s delving deep into his own story in a documentary titled “LANCE“.

It’s an introspective journey, bringing to light conversations with friends, rivals, and insiders like George Hincapie and Derek Bouchard-Hall.

It provides insights into his upbringing, revealing aspects of his relationship with his stepfather and patterns of violence and aggressive behavior that seem to have their roots in his early years.

The film navigates through his illustrious cycling career, including his rise to stardom and subsequent fallout due to doping allegations and drug use revelations.

Contrary to Armstrong’s autobiography, which maintained partial truths, the documentary exposes the deeper aspects of cycling’s illusions and the industry’s collective choices, emphasizing Armstrong’s continuous evasion of personal blame.

Viewers will see Armstrong’s side of the story, where he exhibits a mix of remorselessness and emotional defensiveness, showcasing both disdain for his peers and vulnerability in expressing his feelings for fellow cyclist Jan Ullrich.

The documentary is part of ESPN’s “30 for 30” series, portraying Armstrong’s transformation from a celebrated cyclist to a controversial figure.

What is Lance Armstrong’s Net Worth?

Lance Armstrong is estimated to have a net worth of between approximately $55 million and $75 million as of late 2023.

This wealth was primarily accumulated through his illustrious cycling career and endorsements, despite the controversies surrounding doping allegations that tarnished his legacy.

Notably, Armstrong’s net worth witnessed significant fluctuations over the years, peaking at $130 million in 2010 and dipping to $25 million in 2015.

His financial profile has been bolstered by astute investments, including an early investment in Uber which earned him a whopping $39 million. He also invested $8 million in SRAM Corporation which later yielded a return of $16 million.

Before their contract termination, he also earned over $30 million from collaborations with Nike.

Despite his achievements, the fallout from the doping scandal had substantial financial implications, leading him to return $5 million to the U.S. government and $12 million to sponsors.

This resulted in the loss of all ten of his sponsors and an estimated $150 million in endorsement fees.

What is Lance Armstrong doing now? Now you’ve got the answer! From the peaks of cycling stardom to the trials of scandal, Armstrong’s journey remains one of intrigue.

Were you aware of Armstrong’s bustling activities post-cycling? Have you ever tuned into one of his podcasts?

Do you think he deserves to be forgiven and that the time has come to rehabilitate his reputation, or do you think the damage he did – and the lengths he went to in hiding his actions – mean he can never be forgiven?

Share your thoughts and opinions in the comments below!

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Quentin's background in bike racing runs deep. In his youth, he won the prestigious junior Roc d'Azur MTB race before representing Belgium at the U17 European Championships in Graz, Austria. Shifting to road racing, he then competed in some of the biggest races on the junior calendar, including Gent-Wevelgem and the Tour of Flanders, before stepping up to race Liège-Bastogne-Liège and Paris-Roubaix as an U23. With a breakthrough into the cut-throat environment of professional racing just out of reach, Quentin decided to shift his focus to embrace bike racing as a passion rather than a career. Now writing for BikeTips, Quentin's experience provides invaluable insight into performance cycling - though he's always ready to embrace the fun side of the sport he loves too and share his passion with others.

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