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Armstrong leads RadioShack in search of eighth Tour victory

By:
Susan Wesetmeyer
Published:
June 22, 2010, 15:40 BST,
Updated:
June 22, 2010, 16:12 BST
Edition:
Second Edition Cycling News, Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Race:
Tour de France

Klöden, Leipheimer and Horner in the team

Lance Armstrong will take aim at winning his eighth Tour de France, leading the RadioShack team in this year's race, which starts July 3 in Rotterdam. Team manager Johan Bruyneel named the team in a video message published on the team's website.

Armstrong, 38, won the Tour de France seven consecutive times between 1999 and 2005. After a three-year retirement, he returned to racing in 2009 and finished third overall in the Tour last year. He has only 34 racing days so far this season, and had to drop out of the fifth stage of the Amgen Tour of California after a crash. However since returning to Europe this month, he has consistently improved, finishing third overall in the Tour de Luxembourg and second in the Tour de Suisse.

Also in the RadioShack Tour de France team is Andreas Klöden, who celebrates his 35th birthday today. He will ride his seventh Tour. The German finished second in the race in 2004 and 2006. He has had a strong season so far, with numerous top ten finishes. Most recently he finished eighth overall in the Tour de Suisse.

Levi Leipheimer is also riding his seventh Tour,. His highest finish was third in 2007. The 36-year-old is still looking for his first win this season. The American finished only third in the Amgen Tour of California, which he had won the previous three years.

Another key lieutenant will be Yaroslav Popovych. The 30-year-old from the Ukraine has never quite lived up to his early promise, but has been a faithful helper over the years. The USA's Chris Horner will also be on the squad, having missed out last year.

Janez Brajkovic, who recently won the Criterium du Dauphine ahead of defending Tour de France champion Alberto Contador, will make his Tour debut. Gregory Rast, Sergio Paulinho and Dmitriy Muravyev round out the team.

RadioShack for the Tour de France: Lance Armstrong, Andreas Klöden, Levi Leipheimer, Chris Horner, Janez Brajkovic, Sergio Paulinho, Yaroslav Popovych, Gregory Rast and Dmitriy Muravyev

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