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News of Lance Armstrong

Lance Armstrong,along with Astana teammates Levi Leipheimer and Chris Horner, will race beginning Wednesday in the five-day SRAM Tour of Gila, near Silver City, N.M.

Armstrong, who is recovering from a broken collarbone suffered in the Castilla y Leon stage race in Spain last month, had said last week he wanted to ride in the New Mexico race, which features some difficult climbs, as a test before he goes to the Giro d’Italia, which begins May 9. Armstrong, who has been training in Aspen, Colo., along with Leipheimer and Horner, had been told that international cycling rules prevented international-level teams such as Astana from racing in small, national races. But the International Cycling Federation told USA Cycling officials that as long as no more than three members from Astana entered and they didn’t wear Astana gear, the riders could race.

So Armstrong, Leipheimer and Horner will race in Mellow Johnny’sjerseys. Mellow Johnny’s is the Austin, Texas, bike shop partly owned by Armstrong. Horner, who also fractured his collarbone (on April 9 in a Spanish race) will be testing his recovery as well.

According to a statement sent out by Astana, three-time Amgen Tour of California winner Leipheimer said, “Lance and I are psyched to race the Gila. It’s great preparation for Europe, and we know this race will be challenging. There is a [heck] of a lot of uphill.”