In an interview with CNN, Columbia-HTC’s owner Bob Stapleton is happy about Lance Armstrong‘s comeback, and he believes that Lance is “passing the mantle” to Mark Cavendish. “I think it is very interesting that the biggest name in the sport is embracing, and indeed passing the mantle, to the second biggest name in the sport. From Lance to Mark,” Stapleton said. “Lance’s return has brought lots of publicity back to the sport and taken it back onto the world stage. It wasn’t just Lance’s comeback, but the way he raced that was so amazing. Viewing figures for the Tour de France went up 40 per cent in the States this year and brought cycling to the attention of the world’s media, peaking at the Tour,” he added. He believes that Lance’s return hyped up other teams, encouraging them to try harder and make headlines. “Mark won multiple stages at both the Giro and the Tour, both races that Lance was riding in. And, because the spotlight was shining on cycling, it gave all the other teams an ideal opportunity to showcase their qualities. Hopefully it will all happen again in 2010!,” said Stapleton.