Lance Armstrong’s Twitter Triathlon Alter Ego

  • By Liz Hichens
  • Published Nov 9, 2010
  • Updated Nov 9, 2010 at 7:57 PM UTC

While it has not been officially confirmed, some believe that the person operating the twitter account @juanpelota is Lance Armstrong.

The twitter bio of Juan Pelota reads: “Grew up idolizing The Big 4. They used to call me Junior. Retired. Raisin’ 5 kids. I swim, I bike, I run. I travel. I fight cancer. And I like cold beer.”

The tweets, which started on Nov. 2, all reference triathlon training in Austin, Texas. Many of the tweets reference Jimmy Riccitello, who is a known training partner of Armstrong.

“Pelota” and Riccitello tease each other on occasion using twitter:

Riccitello tweeted on Monday, Nov. 8: “I show up to run with @juanpelota and this is what I get. #trigeek”

Pelota responded that same day: “7 mile run on lady bird lake w/ @JimmyRiccitello. Heard that #trigeek was dogging my socks.”

The @juanpelota twitter has even referenced Armstrong’s future racing plans: “I see this @lancearmstrong punk has entered the Dirty Du in Austin, TX. Says he wants to break his record. Please.”

The name Juan Pelota can easily be linked back to Armstrong. It is the name of the café inside Austin-based Mellow Johnny’s bicycle store, which is owned by Armstrong. The name is said to originate from the surgery Armstrong had for testicular cancer. The term “Juan” represents one, while “Pelota” is Spanish for ball.

Although we can’t confirm whether or not it’s Armstrong, it is fairly clear it is either him or someone very close to him.

So the answer as to when and where Armstrong will jump back into the sport of triathlon may come from Juan Pelota himself.

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Liz Hichens

Liz Hichens

Liz Hichens is the Web Editor of She is an Ironman and marathon finisher and fan of all endurance sports.

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