Former Tour de France champ also lends backing to proposed tobacco tax in Caifornia

Steak may be off the menu now for Alberto Contador, but another multiple Tour de France champion, the recently retired Lance Armstrong, has put a date in his diary to tuck into a nice, juicy T-bone, as befits a man who comes from the state of Texas where men are men and cows are, er, poked.

The 39-year-old, who last month announced that he had permanently retired from competitive cycling, is to be the guest of honour in April at the no-need-to-ask-what-the-main-course-is Steak & Steak Dinner fundraiser for Boys & Girls Clubs of Springfield.

That’s Springfield, Missouri, rather than the vaguely located fictional Springfield that is the hometown to The Simpsons, a show in which a cartoon version of Armstrong has previously featured, the cyclists providing his own voiceover, although we’re sure that the food-loving Homer will be there in spirit.

Meanwhile, the cancer survivor has given his backing to a proposed new tax on sales of tobacco in California that would add one dollar to the price of a packet of cigarettes in that state, with the proceeds being used to fund research into cancer and other conditions caused by tobacco.

The legislation, which it is believed would raise more than $500 million a year, could be put to a public vote in either June this year or February 2012, and is supported by organisations including the American Cancer Society, the American Lung Association and the American Heart Association.

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.