17 Mar 2009

Armstrong to race again this weekend

9:03 am on 17 March 2009

Lance Armstrong will return to the first one-day cycle classic of the season, the Milan-San Remo, this weekend backed by a largely eastern European contingent of Astana riders.

The seven-time Tour de France champion last competed at San Remo in 2002 and his participation in one of cycling's five one-day "monuments" is likely to prompt huge interest in what will be his return to European roads for the first time since 2005.

This weekend, Armstrong will be flanked by three Kazakhs - Assan Bazayev, Maxim Iglinskiy and Dmitriy Muravyev - one Ukrainian, Yaroslav Popovych, and one Lithuanian in Tomas Vaitkus.

However just what the 37-year-old American's aims are for the race, which regularly approaches the 300km mark, are unknown.

In each of his appearances, Armstrong has always finished but has never managed to get near the podium.

Armstrong is also scheduled to race next week at the Tour of Castilla in Spain, where he will line up alongside Levi Leipheimer and defending two-time champion Alberto Contador.