U.S. cycling great Lance Armstrong said on Tuesday he will return to professional cycling in 2009.
"I am happy to announce that after talking with my children, my family and my closest friends, I have decided to return to professional cycling in order to raise awareness of the global cancer burden," Armstrong said in a statement.
Armstrong, who will turn 37 on Sept. 18, cited 41-year-old U.S. swimmer Dara Torres's Olympic comeback in Beijing as proof that age was not a barrier to his return.
"Look at the Olympics. You have a swimmer like Dara Torres. Even in the 50m the 41-year-old mother proved you can do it," he said in an interview posted on vanityfair.com.
"The woman who won the marathon was 38. Older athletes are performing very well. Ask serious sports physiologists and they'll tell you age is a wives' tale."
Armstrong, a cancer survivor, won seven consecutive Tour de France titles from 1999 to 2005.