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Lance Armstrong coming back to later, higher Tour of California

October 22, 2009 |  1:52 pm

Lance The 2010 Amgen Tour of California host cities were announced Thursday as well as the fact that Lance Armstrong and three-time defending champion Levi Leipheimer will be in the field again.

Read here and here and here about the race that has been moved from February to May 16-23 for its fifth year.

The later date allows the Tour of California to offer routes through the mountains and include a mountaintop finish in Big Bear. This year's time trial will be in Los Angeles and finish at the LA Live complex instead of Solvang where it had been successfully held. But LA Live is a product of AEG and so is the Tour of California. So forget about those lovely Solvang pastries and little fruit-filled pancakes. The finish in Big Bear will be on a stage that will start in Pasadena.

The TofC will also go against cycling's traditional May race, the Giro d'Italia. Armstrong rode the Giro last year for the first time. But next year with his new American-based RadioShack team in its premiere season, it was expected that Armstrong and RadioShack teammate Leipheimer would support the biggest U.S. race. 

-- Diane Pucin

Photo: Lance Armstrong. Credit: Peter Morrison / Associated Press