Lance Armstrong will ride the 2010 Tour Down Under, according to the Australian stage race’s organisers.
If the seven-times Tour de France winner does line up in Adelaide for the start of the opening 2010 ProTour race on January 17 it will be his first major event in the colours of his new RadioShack team.
Inclusion of ‘The Shack’ in the TdU was confirmed via the squad’s Twitter feed on Wednesday evening: “Team RadioShack to make their debut at the Tour down Under. Lance’s first race for the Shack”
Armstrong’s participation in the 2010 race was deemed so important that South Australia Premier Mike Rann was involved in the process to persuade the American to ride the event.
“We’d love to have him back in South Australia for next year’s Tour Down Under and his commitment to continue racing allows us to begin our talks,” said Rann in July.
“There are a few things that need to happen. First of all, Team RadioShack needs to secure a pro-tour licence from the world governing council of cycling the UCI”.
Armstrong chose the 2009 Tour Down Under to launch his comeback to professional racing after coming out of retirement. Having raced for the Astana squad during the year, Armstrong has created his own team sponsored by US-based electronics retailer RadioShack for 2010 and beyond. The squad has submitted an application to the Union Cycliste Internationale for a ProTour licence.
The 2010 Tour Down Under runs from January 17-24 and is based entirely in and around Adelaide, South Australia.