United States road biking star Lance Armstrong will race in the Tour de Suisse as a way to prepare for the Tour de France a few weeks later.
Swiss race organisers said on Tuesday that Team RadioShack confirmed the 38-year-old Texan would participate in the race around Switzerland that runs from June 12-20. The Tour de France, which Armstrong has won seven times, begins on July 3.
Armstrong, 38, last raced the Tour de Suisse in 2001. He won and then went on to win his third Tour de France title. Armstrong decided to to put the race on his schedule again this year after he crashed hard at the Tour of California.
Adding Armstrong to the peloton increases pressure on Switzerland’s best professional road cyclist, Fabian Cancellara, who won the Tour de Suisse last year.
"It's going to be interesting to see the difference between Fabian and Lance," said Rolf Huser, a spokesman for organisers IMG who is also Cancellara's agent. "There is the new generation and one of the biggest riders that cycling has."
Cancellara, 29, most recently placed 16th in a time trial stage during the Tour of California after winning the prestigious classics Paris-Roubaix and the Tour of Flanders earlier this year.
swissinfo.ch and agencies