Although a break from racing had been planned for Californian Levi Leipheimer, the Gerolsteiner rider has opted to return to competition. After finishing the Tour of California, where he took the prologue and wore the leader's jersey, the American wanted to take a rest and return to racing only at the Settimana Internationale from March 21-26, but now Leipheimer will participate in the upcoming Italian stage race Tirreno-Adriatico, scheduled for March 8-14.
"Levi's eager to race now," said Gerolsteiner director Christian Henn. "It doesn't make any sense for him to wait and keep up his form by training in Santa Rosa - he needs racing kilometres now." Teammate Robert Förster, a sprinter, will now take the start in Paris-Nice to allow Leipheimer to line-up in Tirreno-Adriatico.