What is Lance Armstrong’s net worth?
Lance Armstrong is an American professional cyclist, author and public speaker who has a net worth of $50 million. At the peak of his career, Lance’s net worth was $125 million and growing rapidly. Lance was the Michael Jordan of processional cycling. And just like Mike, at one point Lance was among the highest-earning athletes in the world, regularly earning up to $20 million+ per year from endorsements and prize money. For several years of his retirement, before his scandals really exploded, Lance continued to earn roughly $15 million per year from speaking engagements, public appearance fees and sponsorships.
For almost ten years, the name Lance Armstrong was synonymous with athletic perfection. The professional cyclist, and cancer survivor, was held up as the image of how far you could push your body, and how successful you could become in the world of sports. He established himself as an athlete to watch while still in high school, winning the National Sprint-Course Triathlon in 1989 and 1990, at the age of 16. He rose through the ranks in the racing world throughout the early 90s, becoming the first American to win a number of races. Then, in 1996, he was diagnosed with testicular cancer. The cancer had invaded his lungs and brain, as well, and he retired from cycling in order to undergo an intense round of treatment. He was able to return to cycling in 1998, and after his return, he was seemingly better than ever. Between 1999 and 2005, he won the Tour de France seven times. He retired again in 2005, then returned in 2009, and raced sporadically through 2011. Then all hell broke loose. It turned out that span from 1998 to 2005 when he was seemingly better than ever, was actually too good to be true.
As pretty much everyone knows by now, in October of 2012, Armstrong was banned from professional racing amid allegations that he used steroids. Lance was forced to give up his seven Tour de France medals and lost all of his major sponsors including Nike, Oakley, Trek and Anheuser Busch.
On the flip side, throughout his career, Lance has been an inspiration to millions of cancer patients around the world. His cancer foundation, which he no longer is associated with, has raised nearly $500 million for research since its inception.
During his interview with Oprah Winfrey in January 2013 when he admitted to doping, Lance estimated that the loss of endorsement deals from this scandals could eventually cost him $75 million in terms of lost endorsements, legal settlements and lawyer fees. The U.S. Federal government could have sued Lance for $100 million had the lawsuit gone to trial. Lance ultimately settled that lawsuit for $5 million.
In December 2018, Lance told CNBC that his early investment in Uber “saved” his family financially over the previous five years. Lance invested $100,000 in Uber when the company was valued at $3.7 million. At the time he made the investment, he had no idea what Uber was and actually thought he was buying shares of Twitter through Chris Sacca’s venture capital firm.
As of December 2018, the company had a private valuation of $120 billion. Lance declined to disclose the exact value of his Uber investment but considering how early he got involved, it’s presumably very valuable today.
Upon hearing this news, many less-reputable news outlets blindly reported that Lance is almost certainly a billionaire thanks to his Uber investment. As awesome as that would be, it’s false. Lance’s Uber investment was worth $30 million at its peak. Probably closer to $20 million after fees. Still an amazing return off of a $100,000 investment.
Lance Armstrong was born as Lance Gunderson on September 18, 1971 in Richardson, Texas to Linda and Eddie. He is of Dutch, Norwegian, and Canadian descent. When Armstrong was two, his parents divorced; his mother remarried to Terry Armstrong the following year, and he adopted his stepfather’s surname.
Armstrong began his career in sports as a swimmer in the City of Plano Swim Club. However, he soon switched over to racing on land, and at the age of 13 won the Iron Kids Triathlon. A few years after that, Armstrong became a professional triathlete; he went on to become the national sprint-course triathlon champion in both 1989 and 1990.
Motorola Cycling Team
In 1992, Armstrong joined the Motorola Cycling Team. The following year, he won numerous races, most notably the World Road Race Championship in Norway. In 1994, Armstrong won his second Thrift Drug Classic, and in 1995 won the Clásica de San Sebastián and the Tour DuPont. He won the Tour DuPont again in 1996, and also became the first American to win the La Flèche Wallonne.
At the age of 25 in 1996, Armstrong was diagnosed with advanced testicular cancer. He underwent an orchiectomy to remove the diseased testicle, but was told he had a slim chance of survival. However, Armstrong went on to receive various treatments at the Indiana University medical center that effectively saved him. In early 1997, he appeared at the first training camp of the Cofidis team, and shortly after that was declared cancer-free.
Return to Cycling and Tour de France Titles
Following his successful battle against cancer, Armstrong mounted his return to road racing. He entered seclusion in North Carolina with former rider Bob Roll and cyclist Chris Carmichael and trained in the Appalachians. Armstrong went on to enter and win the Tour of Luxembourg, and then to finish in the top five of the Vuelta a España. In 1999, he won his first Tour de France, although his success was shadowed by allegations of doping. Armstrong went on to win the next six consecutive Tour de Frances through 2005. He subsequently announced his intention to retire.
Final Cycling Years
Armstrong came out of retirement in 2009 with the intent of competing in the Tour de France. Ultimately, as part of the Astana team, he finished the tournament in third place. Armstrong competed again in the Tour de France in 2010, this time with Team RadioShack; it was to be his final tour. Stymied by the aftermath of a pair of crashes early on, he finished in 23rd place. However, Armstrong had better success in the team competition, helping Team RadioShack win over Caisse d’Epargne. In early 2011, he announced his official retirement from competitive cycling amid an ongoing federal investigation into doping allegations against him.
Armstrong had been accused of doping for much of his professional career, but persistently denied the allegations. The controversy became a full-blown scandal in 2010 when cyclist Floyd Landis admitted to doping and accused Armstrong and others of doing the same. Consequently, federal prosecutors from the US Justice Department launched an investigation of Armstrong and his cycling team. The investigation was ultimately dropped in early 2012 with no charges. Later that year, the United States Anti-Doping Agency accused Armstrong of doping based on blood samples and witness testimonies; he was soon formally charged with running a doping ring. As a result, Armstrong was stripped of all his wins dating back to August of 1998, and was banned from all sports obeying the World Anti-Doping Code. Finally, in early 2013, he admitted to doping.
Personal Life and Charity
In 1998, Armstrong married Kristin Richard; together, they had a son and twin daughters before divorcing in 2003. That year, Armstrong began dating singer-songwriter Sheryl Crow, to whom he got engaged in 2005. Ultimately, the pair split in early 2006. Two years later, Armstrong started a relationship with Anna Hansen; they soon had a son and daughter. The couple married in the summer of 2022. Armstrong owns homes in Austin, Texas and Aspen, Colorado. In the former city, he owns a coffee shop called Juan Pelota Cafe and a bike shop called Mellow Johnny’s.
One of Armstrong’s most significant endeavors has been his charitable Lance Armstrong Foundation, which he founded in 1997 to support people impacted by cancer. From the sale of its iconic Livestrong bracelets, the Foundation has raised over $500 million. Armstrong also helped establish Athletes for Hope, which helps professional athletes get involved in charitable causes, and helped fund Wonders & Worries, which supports children who have a parent struggling with a serious illness.
At the height of his career, Lance owns $30 million worth of real estate around the globe including mansions in the Bahamas, the South of France, Spain and his home state of Texas.
In 2013 Lance paid $4.34 million for a 3.6-acre property on Lake Austin. Less than two months later he sold the home for $5.35 million.
In 2018 Lance sold a Tuscan-style mansion in Austin for $6.88 million.
In 2008 Lance paid $9.175 million for a mansion in Aspen, Colorado.
Today Lance’s primary mansion is 1.7-acre property with a large Mediterranean-style mansion that’s likely worth around $8 million.