24 Oct 2009

Armstrong to compete in 2010 Tour of California

7:23 am on 24 October 2009

Cyclist Lance Armstrong will compete in next year's Tour of California, which will feature route changes and be moved from February to May to avoid the rainy season.

The 16 host cities for the May 16-23 road race were via a Twitter exchange between Armstrong, three-time Tour of California champion Levi Leipheimer, Dave Zabriskie and George Hincapie, and California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

The announcement means Armstrong will not compete in the 2010 Giro d'Italia, which will also be held in May.

Armstrong raced the Giro for the first time this year, finishing ninth, but Italian organisers had expected him to opt for the California race since his new team has an American sponsor.

The four riders said they will compete in the fifth annual event, with Armstrong beginning the 2010 season with his newly formed Team RadioShack, which includes Leipheimer.

The race will begin with a road stage for the first time from Nevada City, California, to Sacramento. It will pass through Davis, Santa Rosa, San Francisco, Santa Cruz, San Jose, Modesto, Visalia, Bakersfield, Pasadena, Big Bear Lake, Los Angeles and end in Thousand Oaks, home of title sponsor Amgen.

Stage 7 will be the individual time trial in downtown Los Angeles next to Staples Center.