Tuesday, September 9, 2008

REPORT:Lance Armstrong To Race In Tour de France

7-time Tour Winner Prepares For Comeback

Lance Armstrong toasts his final Tour de France with Johan Bruyneel in 2005. (Alessandro Trovati/Associated Press)

Cycling legend Lance Armstrong reportedly will come out of retirement to compete in five road races, including the 2009 Tour de France.

VeloNews reported Monday that Armstrong will race in the Amgen Tour of California, Paris Nice Cycling Race, Tour de Georgia, Critérium du Dauphiné Libéré and the storied Tour de France, which he won a record seven consecutive times from 1999-2005.

Armstrong, who turns 37 on Sept. 18, retired on July 24, 2005.

Anonymous sources told the popular cycling journal that Armstrong will join Team Astana, reuniting him with former U.S. Postal Service/Discovery Channel team director Johan Bruyneel.

"I don't know where the rumours come from," Bruyneel told Cyclingnews.com.

"He is no part of our team," Team Astana press officer Philippe Maertens told The Associated Press in an e-mail.

"Team Astana has no plans with him. I cannot tell you more, you better ask him."

Team Astana was prohibited from competing in this year's Tour de France after Alexandre Vinokourov was disqualified for a positive drug test in 2007, and the team's subsequent decision to withdraw from the race.

Armstrong had a brain tumour surgically removed in 1996 and has survived testicular cancer.

He has remained fit in retirement, running the New York City Marathon in 2006 and 2007 and completing the Boston Marathon on April 21.

Last month, he was the runner-up to Dave Wiens in the Leadville 100, a 160-kilometre mountain bike race in Colorado.

Source: Cbc.Ca

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