September 10, 2008 — Following Tuesday’s news that 7-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong intends to return to pro cycling, it is now rumoured that American Floyd Landis is also planning to return to pro racing in 2009. Landis, who won the 2006 Tour de France while riding for Phonak, was stripped of his title and received a two-year ban that expires on January 30, 2009 following his conviction of doping with artificial testosterone. In August 2008, fellow US rider Tyler Hamilton invited Landis to join the American Rock Racing team for the 2009 season, but other rumours suggest Landis may end up with the Health Net-Maxxis squad next season.
Meanwhile, AP reports that Tour de France director Christian Prudhomme said earlier today that “the door is open” for Armstrong to start the 2009 TdF. But referring to the doping speculations of Armstrong at previous Tours Prudhomme added that Armstrong and his yet unannounced team must follow the much stricter drug-testing rules. “If Lance Armstrong is at the start of the Tour de France, it will be the same thing for him and for his team, of course,” he said. “I can’t say anything else. There won’t be any exceptions.”