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Armstrong to race Nevada City Classic

Could Armstrong be the knight in shining armour for Astana?

Could Armstrong be the knight in shining armour for Astana? (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

Lance Armstrong indicated he will race in the Nevada City Classic with teammates Levi Leipheimer and Chris Horner Sunday, June 21. Armstrong, a seven-time Tour de France winner, is currently training with his teammates in Aspen, Colorado, to prepare for the upcoming Tour de France, July 4 to 26.

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Astana press representative Philippe Maertens confirmed the news. "Yes, Armstrong will race in Nevada, together with Levi Leipheimer and Chris Horner," Maertens told Cyclingnews.

The national event, which features several categories and will be raced on a 1.1-mile (1.7km) circuit course in Nevada City, is "considered one of the most technically and physically challenging one-day courses in America," according to the official website.

Maertens was unsure whether the three Astana professionals would show up in Astana kit or under the name of Armstrong's bike shop. "Honestly, I don't know. I suppose they will race wearing Mellow Johnny's jerseys as they did at the Tour de Gila."

At the Tour of the Gila in early May, won by Leipheimer, the three Astana riders wore Mellow Johnny's bike shop jerseys since they were unable to participate as ProTour riders in a national event under International Cycling Union (UCI) rules.

Maertens said that the three riders did not have to change jerseys for the American race. "As far as I know, it would be permitted for them to ride in Astana colours. The UCI rules do allow up to three riders of a ProTour team to race in a small event," he said.

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