Lance Armstrong pulls out of festival

Seven-time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong has pulled out of the Blue Lake Multisport Festival in Rotorua next month.

Organisers of the festival received notice from Lance’s management team late Wednesday and an announcement was also made on Lance’s Twitter account Thursday morning.

Event organiser Charlotte Pearson says while club members and competitors are disappointed Lance won’t be on the start line at the end of January, the event still promises to be bigger and better than ever before.

The Blue Lake.

“The 2011 Blue Lake Multisport Festival was always going to be special as we celebrate our 25th anniversary – that special factor was always going to be there, with or without Lance Armstrong.”

Charlotte says that even in the flurry of excitement following Lance’s entry, the club decided it had to stay true to the roots of the event – just on a much bigger scale.

"This has always been one of the hidden gems of the annual triathlon calendar, loved by everyone who has ever been involved. It is run by volunteers with a love for the sport and who want to put on events for their local community. This philosophy certainly hasn’t changed.

"Now more than ever, our commitment remains to ensuring that everyone has some great races and a good time."

Charlotte says the club hopes that most of those that have entered will still race on the day, including some of New Zealand’s elite triathletes, Bevan Docherty and Kieran Doe, who have also entered.

“Once you’ve raced the Blue Lake Multisport Festival you just keep coming back. The Blue Lake in Rotorua is an absolutely stunning location for an event like this – we are so lucky that it is our training playground every day, and we want to share that experience with everyone else who has entered.”

Charlotte says the club would like to thank all of those who have entered the festival, the festival sponsors and everyone who has offered support and assistance over recent weeks.

“We look forward to seeing you all there!”

The Blue Lake Multisport Festival is organised by the Rotorua Association of Triathletes and is held over Auckland Anniversary Weekend at the Blue Lake Reserve on Tarawera Road.

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