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Le Lance coming to Le Tour

By Tim Maloney, European Editor

Currently preparing to host the ESPN ESPY Awards in Los Angeles, Lance Armstrong told the Austin American Statesman's Suzanne Halliburton that he has changed his mind and his program, and will now attend the Tour De France later this month. Armstrong was originally planning to visit Le Tour when Cyclingnews chatted with him at the Giro d'Italia in May, but since then, his busy schedule was keeping him away from his kids and Armstrong had decided to stay in Austin in July.

However, Armstrong told the Statesman's Halliburton Friday, "I'm not gonna run and hide like some other former champs might. With all that happened before the start (of the 2006 Tour), I feel as if the sport and even the event needs fans and supporters right now," Armstrong declared. "It's not the time for me to run and hide. I need to stand up and say how great cycling and the racing is."

Armstrong will likely revert to his original plan to come to the Tour in the last week to provide moral support and key advice to his Discovery Channel teammates, and not to snack at the Village Depart and have coffee with Jean-Marie Le Blanc.

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