This carbon-framed cycle hired from Armstrong’s shop is more than a match for the hills around Austin, Texas. But can our writer find the man himself?

My friend Adam sent me to Austin, Texas, with a task: “Can you get Lance Armstrong to sign my US Postal Service jersey?” It’s like asking someone going to Newcastle if they can persuade Gazza to autograph an old Magpies shirt. Austin is a big place. Almost a million people live there. It’s true the seven-time Tour de France winner (since disqualified) is one of them, but would I be able to track him down?

Armstrong’s bike shop seemed a good place to start. I’d heard he spends a lot of time hanging around Mellow Johnny’s (imagine “maillot jaune” said in a Texan drawl), a paradise for those cyclists who don’t mind their dollars going towards Armstrong’s legal fund.

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