Lance Armstrong to join Tour de France charity ride on stages 13 and 14

Banned cyclist Lance Armstrong will ride stages 13 and 14 one day ahead of the Tour de France peloton as part of a charity ride organised by Geoff Thomas

Lance Armstrong

(Image credit: Watson)

Lance Armstrong will ride stages 13 and 14 of the 2015 Tour de France a day ahead of the peloton as part of a ride in aid of a blood cancer charity.

The Texan announced his intention to join his friend and fellow cancer survivor, Geoff Thomas, back in March, with the former England footballer riding every stage a day ahead of the peloton.

UCI president Brian Cookson said it was 'completely inappropriate' for the banned cyclist to return to the French race, but Thomas believes Armstrong will provide a boost to the group of riders.

>>> Geoff Thomas: Why I invited Lance Armstrong back to the Tour

"We know Lance's involvement has split opinion, so we've tried to be as respectful as possible," Thomas told the BBC.

"The stages Lance will be riding come towards the end of week two, when I know all the riders will need some support.

"I know his arrival will give them the encouragement they will need to carry on with this gruelling challenge and in turn raise as much money as possible for blood cancer patients."

Armstrong will ride the 198.5km hilly stage between Muret and Rodez on July 17, followed by the 178.5km stage from Rodez to the hill-top finish at Mende.

Thomas was diagnosed with Leukaemia in 2003 and inspired by Armstrong's story the former Crystal Palace captain rode the routes of the 2005 and 2007 Tour de France routes.

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