News + Notes

A New Spin

Lance Armstrong breaks into radio -- The champion cyclist chats about the Live Strong bracelet and why his sport qualifies as ''extreme''

When sirus satellite radio approached Lance Armstrong about doing a show, they told him he could do whatever he wanted. On Live Strong Radio (Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on Sirius' Faction channel 28), the six-time Tour de France winner — and boyfriend of Sheryl Crow (inset) — shoots the breeze with someone named Higgs (a.k.a. Mark Higgins), plays pleasant, jammy music (Grant Lee Buffalo, Ben Harper), takes calls, and worries about keeping profanity to a minimum. We gave him the chance to practice talking a bit with us. —Whitney Pastorek

Who is this Higgs person? He's the guy that I travel with. [He] goes to all the events and functions that I go to, to make them smooth and easy and painless. My babysitter.

And that qualifies him to be on the radio? [Laughs] We're still trying to figure that out.

So . . . you gonna play any Sheryl Crow? Of course! She's got a couple new records coming out and I think it's amazing. I don't know if we can world-premiere it on Faction 28, but we're trying. I got some pull.

I guess we know how the yellow Live Strong bracelets that benefit your cancer foundation are doing — they're everywhere. We're north of 32 million, so that's about 31 1/2 million more than I ever thought we'd do.

Do things like the black ''Live Wrong'' parody bracelets bug you? If United Way does one, or the breast cancer movement does a pink one, that's directly benefiting a cause. Whereas Live Wrong, what's that benefiting? Somebody's bad attitude?

The channel you're on has all kinds of extreme-sports folks — skateboarder Tony Hawk and former Jackass Bam Margera. Is there anything extreme about cycling? You have to go downhill at 75 miles an hour with not much on and tires that are less than an inch wide — if they blow out, it's pretty much all over but the cryin'. And we get to pee in the French countryside without getting in trouble.

Originally posted Feb 21, 2005 Published in issue #808 Feb 25, 2005 Order article reprints