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Page last updated at 22:28 GMT, Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Armstrong firms up 2009 schedule

Lance Armstrong
Armstrong dominated the Tour de France between 1999 and 2005

Lance Armstrong plans to ride in a number of classic races next year - but the American remained coy as to whether he will ride in the Tour de France.

Armstrong, 37, retired in 2005, but is to return to cycling in 2009.

"I simply don't know," Armstrong told Cyclingnews website of his Tour de France plans. "I'm not in a hurry.

"I'm going to do Tour of Flanders, all the classics, except Paris-Roubaix, Tour of California, Criterium International, Circuit de la Sarthe."

The one-day classics include the Liege-Bastogne-Liege, Milan-San Remo, the Fleche Wallonne, the Amstel Gold Race, Paris-Roubaix and the Tour of Flanders.

During his domination of the Tour between 1999 and 2005 when he won a record seven times, Armstrong focused on the world's greatest stage race at the expense of the classics.

606: DEBATE
Crosboid

"I want to say that I am not trying to be coy," added Armstrong, who will race for the Astana team next year. "I'm not playing games with them (Tour organisers), with the fans, the media."

Armstrong is already committed to the Giro d'Italia in May, while Astana team boss Johan Bruyneel said the American was "50-50" to also race in the Tour.

Armstrong initially looked set to launch a bid for an eighth title in France but it was met with a less than enthusiastic response from Tour organisers.

His former mentor, and five-time Tour winner, Eddy Merckx has also said he is convinced that Armstrong will not compete as taking part in the Giro and the Tour in the same year will be too much.

Armstrong will end a three-and-a-half-year absence from the sport when he rides in the Tour Down Under in Australia in January.

Armstrong famously overcame an aggressive form of testicular cancer before embarking on his remarkable run of Tour de France victories.

see also
Contador to continue with Astana
18 Oct 08 |  Cycling
Armstrong comeback gets go-ahead
08 Oct 08 |  Cycling
Armstrong to return with Astana
24 Sep 08 |  Cycling
Mixed reaction to Armstrong news
10 Sep 08 |  Cycling
Armstrong to make shock comeback
10 Sep 08 |  Cycling


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