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Irizar joins Armstrong's RadioShack

Markel Irizar (Euskaltel-Euskadi) was the surprise of the day.

Markel Irizar (Euskaltel-Euskadi) was the surprise of the day. (Image credit: Florian & Susanne Schaaf/

Spain's Markel Irizar will ride at RadioShack with Lance Armstrong, who lent support during his battle with cancer. Irizar, 29, signed for the next two seasons, according to El Diario Vasco.

Irizar leaves home, Basque team Euskaltel-Euskadi after five years. He worked with the team on a renewal contract, but then decided to ride with Armstrong's new RadioShack team.

Armstrong lent his support with a letter when Irizar went through treatment for testicular cancer in 2002. He recovered completely, joined team Euskaltel-Euskadi in 2004 and later met Armstrong at races.

Doctors diagnosed Armstrong with testicular cancer in 1996. The cancer went into remission and he returned to win seven editions Tour de France.

On July 23, Armstrong announced that  American company RadioShack would sponsor the team for two years.

Irizar finished 18th overall and won the mountains classification at this year's Tour Down Under. At RadioShack he will join Haimar Zubeldia, who is also from the Basque province Gipuzkoal.

Irizar refused to comment on his new team at the Vuelta a España this morning.

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