Not really a surprise but they made it offical today...
Although it seems the rumors of him racing in the Vuelta are for now just rumors.
Feb 16, 2005 — By Nick Mulvenney
LONDON (Reuters) - Six-times Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong confirmed
on Wednesday that he would take part in this year's race.
The American's 2005 racing schedule, announced by his Discovery Channel team,
includes the Tour de France, next month's Paris-Nice classic, the Tour of
Flanders and the Tour of Georgia in the United States.
"I look forward to achieving my goal of a seventh Tour de France (victory),"
Armstrong, who claimed an unprecedented sixth title last year, told the
Discovery Channel Web Site.
"I am excited to get back on the bike and start racing although my condition
is far from perfect.
"(We) will evaluate my fitness later this spring and possibly add some races
to the calendar."
The chairman of the company which organizes the Tour de France, Jean-Marie
Leblanc, was pleased that Armstrong had decided to have another go at the
world's most gruelling cycling race.
"I knew that under the contract between Lance and his new sponsor Discovery
Channel he would have to race in the Tour at least one more time, either in
2005 or in 2006," Leblanc said.
"Lance has decided to take up the challenge now which is good."
Armstrong won six stages, including the team time trial, on his way to last
year's triumph and was barely challenged, except by Italian Ivan Basso in the
"I love Tour de France events which are open, with no clear favorite, but
having one again is going to be exciting," Leblanc added.
Armstrong kept fans guessing about his plans for this season after Discovery
Channel took over from US Postal as his team's sponsors with an official
presentation in January.
He had said that he wanted to focus on the spring races he had neglected so
far, perhaps an attempt to prove he could have success in other races.
"I've had contacts with (Discovery Channel team manager) Johan Bruyneel a few
days ago which led me think that things were changing in our favor," Leblanc
"Johan said that Lance wanted to enter either the Criterium, the Dauphine
Libere or the Tour of Switzerland to prepare for the Tour de France."
Armstrong, who survived testicular cancer before his six victories, has won
23 stages in the Tour de France since first taking part in 1993.
Copyright 2005 Reuters News Service. All rights reserved.