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Lance Armstrong cycling with old teammates in Old Pueblo

Posted at 10:36 PM, Feb 17, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-18 00:37:05-05

Celebrating 18 years of riding single track in the Sonoran Desert, the 24 Hours in the Old Pueblo is one of the largest 24 Hour events in the world.

 The event attracts cycling's best, and this year, none other than Lance Armstrong will be competing along with his former teammates from his Tour De France days.

 "They're mad at me because I got them into this. It was my idea. They're great guys and despite it all, despite what people think, we are still in constant communication."

 The event happens as a federal judge has cleared the way for the government's lawsuit seeking $100 million in damages from Lance Armstrong.

 The government joined the case in 2013 after Armstrong publicly admitted using performance-enhancing drugs to win the Tour de France seven times. Armstrong was stripped of those titles and banned from competition.

Armstrong and 3 of his former U.S. Postal Service teammates have gathered in the middle of the Sonoran desert for one more ride. 

“We’re no different than anyone else,” says Armstrong’s teammate Dylan Casey.  “We’re just here to have fun and experience 24 hours on the Old Pueblo.”

The team says the event for them is not about competition, but to experience an event you plan your best for and have the best experience possible.

A laid back Lance tonight says the event is similar to a mix of several events including Lollapalooza and Burning Man in the desert.

The former teammates say there’s only one new thing about this ride that scares them, and that’s riding in the middle of the night, with cacti.

“I will not be taking any risks,” says George Hincapie.  “I want to have a good experience and not come away with any cacti on any parts of my body.”

The ride begins at noon on Saturday and runs through noon on Sunday.