ARMSTRONG CONFIRMS TOUR OF IRELAND RIDE AND CANCER SUMMIT

Lance Armstrong has confirmed he will ride this year?s Tour of Ireland (August 19-23) and hold the Live Strong Global Summit in Dublin immediately after the race between August 24-26.

Armstrong made the announcement on his Twitter feed after finishing the Tour of California. Further details were issued in a press release by his Livestrong foundation

“Unless we act on a global level, cancer will be the leading cause of death by 2010,” said Armstrong in a statement.

“Our goal is to be the catalyst that brings everyone together to fight cancer -from survivors, like me, to world leaders and policymakers who must commit completely to the effort to avoid a public health catastrophe. The Summit provides an invaluable opportunity to stand up for the 28 million cancer survivors worldwide and to create a unified effort to control cancer through new commitments to action.”

Darach McQuaid, Project Director for the Tour of Ireland, said: ?The global sports icon that is Lance Armstrong last raced in Ireland in the Tour of Ireland in 1992. This August 19-23 the Tour of Ireland could not be more proud than to have Lance Armstrong riding once again on Irish roads in the lead up to his Global Cancer Summit in Dublin. The massive, positive public reaction to his comeback to the sport in Australia in January and California in February indicate that by the time Lance arrives in Ireland next August, the interest levels will be at fever pitch. I am confident that we can provide Lance with a challenging course and via our global broadcast, promote his cancer message in over 140 television markets around the world.?


ITALY DISCOVERS A NEW CLASSICS STAR

Italian cycling has discovered a new classics star that could replace the void left by the retirement of former world champion Paolo Bettini.

Francesco Ginanni (Diquigiovanni) is still only 23 and only in his second season as a professional but confirmed his huge potential by winning the Trofeo Laigueglia on Saturday.

Ginanni beat Filippo Pozzato (Katusha) in the sprint finish after impressing on the hilly course that covers some of the roads used in Milan-San Remo. In 2008 Ginanni was the best neo-pro in Italy, won three races and was a reserve in the Italian squadra for the world championships.

As well as the ability to climb and an impressive sprint, Ginanni also seems to have the character and charisma to capture the attention of the tifosi and the Italian media.

?When I was an amateur I worked in a factory during the winter and realised it?s a lot harder than racing a bike, especially when you like racing but don?t like your job,? he said after his win.

?I?d like to be the new Bettini but I hope he doesn?t feel offended. I can climb a bit, sprint pretty well but I know I?ve still got a lot to learn.?

?My dream is Milan-San Remo and I keep thinking about it a lot. It?s on the same roads as Laigueglia but it?s 130km longer. I?m not saying I can win it but I?d like to be up there in the finale and learn how to win it.?


BASSO HOPES TO RECOVER FOR TIRRENO-ADRIATICO

Ivan Basso (Liquigas) pulled out of the Tour of California before the Solvang time trial after banging his knee on his aero bars. He was initially worried about possible tendon damage but after a scan, he is now convinced he will recovery quickly and be able to ride the Italian stage race.

?While I get over the jet lag I?m going to use the time to let my knee heal. I think I?m going to be able to ride Tirreno-Adriatico,? he told Gazzetta dello Sport newspaper.

?Hopefully the problem only causes a slight delay to my race programme. It means I didn?t go in the San Diego wind tunnel but it?s not a problem.?

RELATED LINKS:

Leipheimer wins 2009 Tour of California

Contador wins first race of season in Algarve

Cummings goes close in Trofeo Laigueglia

Comment What?s in a victory salute

Basso heads home after injury