Armstrong to join guests at Tour route presentation

Tour’s top three, Cavendish on hand for 2010 unveiling

Tour de France director Christian Prudhomme has revealed Lance Armstrong will be Amaury Sport Organisation’s guest of honour at Wednesday’s 2010 route presentation. Armstrong will join the most successful riders from this year’s race as ASO takes the wraps off the 2010 course, which will start in Rotterdam.

“The top three of 2009: winner Alberto Contador, Armstrong and Andy Schleck will be in Paris on Wednesday,” Prudhomme told Sporza.be. “Even Mark Cavendish, who won six stages this year, will be present.”

Armstrong’s presence at the route presentation comes as his Radio Shack squad awaits a verdict from the International Cycling Union (UCI) on the team’s ProTour license application. A ProTour licence would assure Radio Shack of a place at next year’s Tour, however even if it’s not granted a licence ASO could grant it a wildcard entry to the race.

Speculation over what will be included in next year’s course has been rife in recent weeks. Amid the rumours Belgian newspaper Gazet van Antwerpen claimed the 2010 Tour de France will feature two ascents of the Col du Tourmalet to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the climb's inclusion in the race.

French website cyclingmodel.over-blog.com has raised the prospect of the first mountain stages of next year's Tour taking place in the Alps. The website listed the eighth stage, on Saturday, July 10, as the first possible mountain-top finish of the race. It suggested that the stage could finish at the ski resort of Les Rousses in the French department of Jura.

Prudhomme will reveal the final and official race route on Wednesday, October 14.

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