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Lance Armstrong on the new Tour de France route

October 22, 2008 |  6:16 pm

Lance Armstrong during a video presentation

Lance Armstrong's spokesman has sent an email with Armstrong's reaction to the 2009 Tour de France route and a response to speculation that the cyclist may skip the world's most famous cycling race during his comeback.

Here's the email from Mark Higgins:

The route of the 2009 Tour de France strikes me as innovative and very interesting. From its start in Monte Carlo with a 15k time trial, to the reinstatement of the team time trial, to stages in my old hometown of Girona all the way to another visit to my old friend the Ventoux, I could not have hoped for a different Tour.

While there has been a fair bit of tension and numerous disagreements with the Tour and its organizers, I am well aware that there is new leadership at ASO and I look forward to upcoming conversations and to a mutually beneficial future together. Whether it's promoting the Livestrong global cancer campaign or making the biggest bike race in the world the gem that it deserves to be, I look forward to next year. I would also like to recognize the UCI and commend them for their aggressive stance against doping, a stance that is unmatched in all of world sport.

Lastly, as to the leadership of the Astana team in 2009. It is illogical to pre-select a leader for any race in October of the previous year. We are blessed at Astana to have the strongest team in the world and I look forward to riding with all of these great riders. I have been around long enough to know that cycling is a team sport and I am fully committed to supporting the strongest rider in any race. Whether that's me, Alberto Contador, Levi Leipheimer, or Andreas Kloden.

-- Diane Pucin

Photo: Lance Armstrong (left) participates in a Tuesday video conference in Monaco about next year's Centennial edition of the Giro Italia cycling race. Credit: Lionel Cironneau / Associated Press Photo

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