Armstrong to drop Amstel Gold, Liège-Bastogne-Liège and Flèche Wallonne from schedule?
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Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Armstrong to drop Amstel Gold, Liège-Bastogne-Liège and Flèche Wallonne from schedule?

by Conal Andrews at 6:04 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Spring Classics, Liège-Bastogne-Liège , Amstel Gold Race, Flèche Wallonne
 

Despite a solid showing in the Tour of Flanders on Sunday, Lance Armstrong has reportedly dropped three scheduled Spring Classics from his racing programme.

According to Belgian media, the 38 year old Texan will now not compete in the Amstel Gold race on April 18th, and will also scratch out Flèche Wallonne on April 21st and then, four days later, Liège-Bastogne-Liège.

There are some suggestions that he will instead return to America to train after completing the Circuit de la Sarthe.

The French event begins today with a 184.6 kilometres race from Sable-Sur-Sarthe to Varades. Tomorrow will see the riders completing two stages; a morning 97 kilometre run between Varades and Angers and then a 6.8 kilometre time trial later on.

The 2.1-ranked stage race continues until Friday.

Armstrong’s withdrawal from the so-called Ardennes Classics is surprising, particularly after Flanders went better than expected. He finished in the main chasing group, coming home with a bunch of riders sprinting for fifth place, two minutes and 35 seconds behind Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank).

However he may feel he is on schedule and wants to back off on racing slightly in order to achieve a more steady build-up to the Tour.

The Texan won Flèche Wallone in 1996. His best finish in the Amstel Gold race was second behind Michael Boogerd in 1999, and again behind Erik Dekker in 2001. He also took two runner-up slots in Liège-Bastogne-Liège, in 1994 and 1996.

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