Armstrong unveils cycling plans; no commitment to California race

Lance Armstrong confirmed today that he is returning to competitive road cycling in 2009, but during a press conference in New York did not confirm or deny plans to race in the Amgen Tour of California — which includes a stage that ends in downtown Modesto.

Armstrong confirmed he will race with Team Astana in the Tour Down Under, an Australian race in January, and in the Tour de France, which begins July 4 in Belgium. He also confirmed that he will ride in the Leadville 100 in Colorado in August.

He did not confirm or rule out participating in any other race, including the Tour of California.

The Tour of California is scheduled to run Feb. 14-22, with a Feb. 17 fourth-stage finish line in Modesto and a fifth-stage start in Merced the following morning.

Tour sponsor Amgen released a statement this morning applauding Armstrong’s return to cycling. But the statement makes no mention of any contact with Armstrong or commitment to the California race from the seven-time Tour de France champion.

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