Armstrong to ride the Classics

Armtrong seems to have realised that there is more to cycling than the Tour de France.

RadioShack sport director Johan Bruyneel has stated that Armstrong will race Milan-San Remo, Tour of Flanders, Amstel Gold Race and Liège-Bastogne-Liège.

Following his debut at the Tour Down Under, Armstrong will make his European season opener in early March at the five-day Vuelta a Murcia in Spain, a race that was a popular Armstrong stop during his Tour heyday. He will then take a shot at Milan-San Remo after which he will  race the Criterium International in Corsica in late March with nearly 300km of racing to sharpen him up as he enters the northern classics. His appearance at the Tour of Flanders in early April should draw huge crowds as well as give Armstrong a shot at riding some cobblestones ahead of this year’s Tour route, which includes one stage across Belgium with some cobbles.

How great will it be to watch Lance take on the cobbles at Flanders, or on the steep climbs of Liege?

Lance winning the 1996 Fleche Wallone

A dramatic return to Amstel Gold Race and then Liège will cap a busy spring campaign in Europe before the seven-time Tour champ returns to the United States to race in the Tour of California in its new date in May.

Bruyneel said that they still haven’t decided whether Armstrong will race the Dauphiné Libéré or the Tour de Suisse in June as final preparation before the Tour.

Armstong’s probable shedule:

Vuelta a Murcia, March 3-7
Milan-San Remo, March 20
Criterium International, March 27-28
Tour of Flanders, April 4
Amstel Gold Race, April 18
Liège-Bastogne-Liège, April 25
Tour of California, May 16-23
Dauphiné Libéré or Tour de Suisse, June
Tour de France, July 3-25