Armstrong's 'Stages' bike auction nets US$1.3M

Custom-painted Trek road and time trial bikes from 2009 season

A Sotheby's silent auction called 'Stages', which included several custom Trek racing bikes ridden by Lance Armstrong throughout the 2009 season, raised US$1,255,000 for his Livestrong Foundation in New York on November 1.

The bikes, a mix of carbon fibre road and time trial machines made in Trek's Waterloo, Wisconsin factory, were equipped with sponsored components from Bontrager, Hed, and SRAM, and custom painted with patterns designed by artists Shepard Fairey, Damien Hirst, Kaws, Yoshitomo Nara, Marc Newson and Kenny Scharf.

"I'm not a gearhead, and my garage is anything but a cycling museum, but I can honestly say that letting go of my bikes has never been harder," Armstrong said in a press release.

Armstrong and Trek collaborated to prepare the bikes for key races in Armstrong's 2009 racing season, beginning with the Tour Down Under, his official race debut after un-retiring in September 2008. Armstrong retired after winning his seventh consecutive Tour de France in July 2005.

Different paint schemes were unveiled for the Tour of California, Milan-San Remo, Giro d'Italia and Tour de France. Armstrong's 2009 road season ended with the Tour of Ireland in August, before he won the Leadville 100 mountain bike race in Colorado on August 15.

"When I returned to professional cycling this year to address the global cancer burden, I needed every bit of ammunition I could find," Armstrong added. "To help engage the creative community in this mission, I invited six very different artists to customize my Trek racing bikes to raise awareness for the Stages art show benefiting Livestrong that debuted in Paris during the Tour de France."

The time trial bike Armstrong raced during the Tour of California prologue was stolen and recovered in Sacramento; it fetched US$130,000 at auction. The top bid was $500,000 for the Damien Hirst 'butterfly' bike ridden by Armstrong on the last stage of the Tour de France, where he finished third overall behind Astana teammate Alberto Contador.

The money fetched from each bike includes:

  • Hirst: $500,000
  • Scharf: $45,000
  • Nara: $200,000
  • Fairey: $110,000
  • Kaws: $160,000
  • Newson: $110,000
  • Stolen/recovered TT bike: $130,000
  • Total auction amount: $1,255,000 million

For more information on the bikes, visit www.trekbikes.com.

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