Lance Armstrong to Sign Off for the Year at Tour of Ireland
Lance Armstrong will race for the last time this year at the three-day Tour of Ireland that begins near Dublin on Friday.
"It's a nice ending for him. He might do some mountain bike races or stuff but this is his last official race of the year," Astana team manager Johan Bruyneel told reporters.
The Tour of Ireland covers 576km in three stages and ends in Cork on Sunday.
"It's not a very hard race and so it's a good way for him to bow out," added Bruyneel.
Armstrong won the Leadville 100 marathon mountain bike race last Sunday but has not competed on the road since finishing third in the Tour de France in July.
"I think his fitness is pretty good," said Bruyneel. "It must be if he's able to do 6-1/2 hours at altitude in a mountain bike race. However, I don't think we're going to see him on the front of the peloton."
The Tour of Ireland will be the American's last road race with the Astana team before he creates his own Team RadioShack sponsored by the U.S. electronics retailer for the 2010 season.
Armstrong arrived in Dublin on Thursday after riding a charity circuit race in Oslo on Wednesday evening. On Tuesday he rode with fans in Scotland and attended a U2 concert in Glasgow.
Armstrong last raced in Ireland in 1992 in his first year as a professional.
The Tour de France started in Dublin in 1998 but Armstrong was recovering from testicular cancer. He went on to win cycling's biggest race a record-breaking seven times between 1999 and 2005.
Armstrong will stay in Ireland after the race to attend a three-day global cancer summit organised by his Livestrong Foundation.