Armstrong to ride Tour de Luxembourg next week

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BRUSSELS (AP) — Lance Armstrong will compete in the Tour de Luxembourg next week as part of his rescheduled preparations for the Tour de France.

Armstrong crashed in last week’s Tour of California and pulled out, missing key time in the San Bernardino Mountains to hone his stamina for the pinnacle of his season in July.

To compensate, Armstrong entered the June 2-6 race through the hills of the Ardennes in Luxembourg.

“Raced it once b4 in 1998 and won it. Looking 4ward to it,” he said Wednesday on his Twitter feed.

His revised schedule will make it impossible to race the Dauphine Libere in France from June 6-13, but will make room for the Tour of Switzerland from June 12-20.

It also will cut into the reconnaissance time for some stages of this year’s Tour de France. Armstrong is often near-obsessive about preparing stages in the tour but choices had to be made, said Armstrong’s spokesman Philippe Maertens.

“What counts now is competition,” he said.

Armstrong was in Europe earlier this spring to prepare for some of the flat stages of the Tour, especially on the cobblestone in northern France, by riding the Tour of Flanders.

Last week, he fell face first during the Tour of California and slammed his elbow and cut his face. He had the stitches removed from his cheek on Wednesday, he said on the Twitter site.

Armstrong arrived Tuesday in southern France for some training in Nice. In Luxembourg, he will face the powerful Team Saxobank.