Armstrong plans team announcement after 2009 Tour

(Image credit: Gregor Brown)

Lance Armstrong believes there is a "high" probability he will start a professional team of his own for the 2010 season. The American expects the announcement to come this July, after he races the Tour de France.

"I would like to have my own team: to be the owner, director and... cyclist. Because if I have a team I also want to race. It does not necessarily have to be the Giro and Tour, but only when I have the desire," he said in an interview with La Gazzetta dello Sport after the Tour of the Gila stage race in the USA.

Armstrong, seven-time winner of the Tour de France, announced his comeback to the sport last fall. He joined his former team manger Johan Bruyneel at team Astana and announced his support of an Under 23 development team.

"The name? That of the principal sponsor. Its probability? High. You will know it in July. Even if it is hard to convince sponsors to give money with the economic crisis and news of doping."

Armstrong travelled from USA and arrived in Rome this morning. Tomorrow, he will meet with Italy's Foreign Minister, Franco Frattini, to present his cancer foundation's programme.

From Rome Armstrong travels to Venice for the Centenary Giro d'Italia, May 9 to 31. He will lead the team with USA's Levi Leipheimer, winner of Tour of the Gila and Castilla y León.

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