Texan stripped of seven Tour de France titles and banned from the sport for life invited to speak ahead of big race

Lance Armstrong - banned from the sport of cycling for life in 2012 and stripped of his seven Tour de France titles - has been invited by the organisers of the Tour of Flanders to give a speech at an event ahead of next year's edition of the Belgian race.

Today, he was announced as the keynote speaker at an event called the Tour of Flanders Business Academy, which will take place on 30 March, two days ahead of the Monument which next year is held on 1 April.

And no, it isn't an April Fool's joke. Here he is talking about how much he is looking forward to it.

Tour of Flanders Business Academy from Golazo on Vimeo.


According to the organisers of the Tour of Flanders, the event will be one in which "business, society and cycling meet and cross-pollinate each other.

"It's a unique physical, mental and sensory experience. Values such as sportsmanship, drive and community are not only central but they are also experienced by the participants.

"At the Tour of Flanders Business Academy, you will complete the final of the Tour of Flanders in the company of fellow sportive business leaders.

"Offer your guests a unique experience, enjoy delicious food and listen to our keynote speaker's experiences.

"Open, honest and transparent."

So they invited someone who cheated his way to seven Tour de France titles, bullied people out of the sport, and still insisted after he was banned for life and stripped of those seven yellow jerseys that he had never used performance enhancing drugs.

Until he confessed to Oprah.

The world of cycling never fails to astonish., does it?

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.