Lance Armstrong has once again peddled his way to the top of the mountain during the Tour de France, cycling’s biggest race.
Continue Reading Below
However, this time around he is not racing against the peloton, but is instead staging a comeback as a podcaster.
Armstrong created "The Move," a podcast offering listeners a rare and inside perspective on the world’s most iconic cycling races. The podcast generated an estimated $1 million in revenue during the three-week Tour de France by partnering with Patrón tequila and other sponsors, according to Bloomberg.
In comparison, Egan Bernal, the 2019 Tour de France winner, took home €500,000 or more than $557,000 in prize money. He became the youngest rider, at 22, to win the race in the post-WWII era.
Armstrong provides daily analysis of the Tour de France’s 21-stage race and the podcast ranked third among sports shows as of July 19. The popularity of his first podcast, “The Forward,” in 2016, enabled Armstrong to build a business under the endurance-sports brand WEDU.
The embattled cyclist was able to rebrand himself using "The Forward" that features weekly interviews on a variety of topics. Under the WEDU brand, Armstrong sells cycling gear and merchandise through its online store and offers listeners a premier subscription service with exclusive content at $60.
Armstrong’s world came crashing down faster than when he descended the Col du Galibier in the French Alps during his tour racing days. In 2013, he admitted to Oprah Winfrey that he used performance-enhancing drugs during his seven Tour de France wins. His confession to doping gave new momentum to numerous lawsuits.
The Department of Justice sought out nearly $100 million in damages for defrauding the U.S. government by accepting millions of dollars in sponsorship money from the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) cycling team. Armstrong settled with the federal government for $5 million in 2018.
At the pinnacle of his career in 2005, Armstrong earned an estimated $28 million from salary, endorsements, book sales, and speaking engagements, according to Forbes. He announced his retirement after winning his seventh consecutive Tour de France in the same year.
Armstrong staged another comeback into pro-cycling in 2009 where he reportedly earned $20 million. In that year, he became an early investor in Uber through venture capitalist Chris Sacca. Armstrong invested $100,000 in the ridesharing company, according to CNBC.