Armstrong wins first road race since comeback

Lance Armstrong won his first race since coming back from retirement after soloing to win Sunday’s Nevada City Bicycle Classic in America.

Armstrong was part of a three-man escape group that included Astana team-mate Levi Leipheimer and Ben Jacques-Maynes (Bissell). The seven-times Tour de France winner attacked his breakaway companions to take a solo win.

Jacques-Mayne came in second, with Leipheimer third.

“What a great Nevada City Classic,” Armstrong commented via his Twitter feed. “I managed to get the win, Levi Leipheimer was third. Hard race. The crowds? Electric…”

Armstrong also paid his respects to Jacques-Maynes: “Hats off to Ben for today’s ride. He was very strong. Had us scratching our heads for sure.”

Although not quite in the same league as a spring classic or Grand Tour stage win, the Nevada City Classic is a tough race. Both Armstrong and Leipheimer were using the experience to hone their form ahead of the 2009 Tour de France, which starts on Saturday July 4.