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Armstrong confirmed for the Circuit Cycliste Sarthe

The organiser of the Circuit Cycliste Sarthe Pays de la Loire stage race has confirmed that Lance Armstrong will compete in this year’s race as part of a busy April racing schedule in Europe before he returns to the USA for the Tour of California.

The RadioShack team said it is not yet 100% sure Armstrong will ride the four-day, five-stage race but his name has been included on the official entry list.

The 58th edition of the Circuit Cycliste Sarthe Pays de la Loire kicks off with a 184km road race stage and includes a 6.8km individual time trial on the split-stage second day. The race begins just two days after the Tour of Flanders, on Tuesday, April 6 but would provide Armstrong with a vital extra block of racing in early April. He rode the Circuit Cycliste Sarthe Pays de la Loire in 1999, 2001 and 2003, winning stage four in 1999.

Armstrong is currently at his European base in the south of France and will ride Milan-San Remo on Saturday. He will then face former teammate and Tour de France rival Alberto Contador at the two-day Criterium International (March 27-28) and ride the Tour of Flanders (April 4). He is also set to ride the Amstel Gold Race (April 18), Fleche Wallonne (April 21) and Liege-Bastogne-Liege (April 25).

The list of team for the Circuit Cycliste Sarthe Pays de la Loire also includes AG2R-La Mondiale, Caisse d’Epargne, Francaise des Jeux, BBox Bouygues Telecom, BMC, Cofidis, Cervelo TestTeam, Colnago-CSF Inox, ISD-Neri, Saur-Sojasun, Skil-Shimano, Adria Mobile, Big Mat-Auber 93 and Bretagne-Shuller.

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Stephen is the most experienced member of the Cyclingnews team, having reported on professional cycling since 1994. He has held the position of European editor since 2012 and previously worked for Reuters, Shift Active Media, and Cycling Weekly, among other publications.