LANCE Armstrong may make at least $4 million for charity by selling the Damien Hirst-decorated bike he’ll use to complete the Tour de France at the weekend, as well as works given by Richard Prince, Ed Ruscha and other artists.
The racing bicycle may fetch more than $1 million alone when it is sold with five others at Sotheby’s New York in October. The rest will be raised by an exhibition now in Paris.
Armstrong will be riding the Hirst bike down the Champs- Elysees on the final stage of the Tour on July 26. The racer, adorned with butterflies, is one of six featuring designs by contemporary artists that Armstrong has ridden in his comeback year as part of Stages, a global art exhibition to raise funds for his campaign against cancer.
“Studying and collecting art has been a passion and a pleasure for many years,” Armstrong says on the Stages site. “In retirement, I was finally able to focus on it more deeply. It was during this time that an idea arose to offer artists a forum in which to convey the Livestrong ideals.”
Armstrong, rode a bike with a “stroboscopic” rear wheel designed by Marc Newson in the Tour’s opening time trial on July 4.
His “daily driver” during the gruelling three-week long, 21-stage contest has been a Madone bike decorated by New York street artist Kaws. Others were embellished with designs by Shepard Fairey, Yoshitomo Nara and Kenny Scharf.
All six of the “art” bikes, made by Trek Bicycle Corporation, will be auctioned by Sotheby’s in New York on October 2, the anniversary of Armstrong’s cancer diagnosis. All the proceeds of the sale will benefit Livestrong.