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Mellow Johnny’s 3 to race Nevada City

As yet more proof that Twitter is where you should be for the latest news:

Twitter / Lance Armstrong:
Race update – @levi_leipheimer, @hornerakg, and myself are racing the Nevada City Classic next Sunday. A great American race!!!

Twitter / Levi Leipheimer:
Yes, we, @lancearmstrong, @hornerakg and myself will be racing the American classic Nevada City on Sunday, this is one to come watch, party

More news from more traditional media outlets:

AFP: Lance Armstrong to race in Nevada City Classic

LOS ANGELES (AFP) — Lance Armstrong will continue his preparations for the Tour de France by racing in the Nevada City Classic on Sunday, the seven-time Tour de France champion said on Twitter.

Armstrong returned to the United States after finishing 12th in the Giro d’Italia in May, and on June 5 welcomed the birth of baby son, Max – his fourth child.

The 37-year-old cyclist said he and Astana teammates Levi Leipheimer and Chris Horner will compete in the 49th edition of the Nevada City Classic, which is run on a a 1.7km circuit in the historic mining town nestled in the northern California mountains.

“A great American race!!!” Armstrong called the event in a posting Tuesday on the social networking site Twitter. “I’m excited to see Nevada City again, it’s been 11 years since I’ve done it, in the beautiful Sierra Mountains.”
The race will be another step in Armstrong’s return to competition, launched in January after an absence of three and a half years.

While he has been stateside between the Giro and the Tour de France, which starts on July 4, Armstrong said international cycling’s anti-doping authorities hadn’t lost track of him.

“Surprise anti-doping control,” he wrote on Twitter on Tuesday. “Think it’s the 31st time (since his return) but not sure any more. Part of the job.”

This is pretty incredible news for the town of Nevada City and for the organizers of the Classic … like many longtime races, the Nevada City Classic has seen a downturn in sponsorship dollars and spectatorship. With the “Mellow Johnny’s” trio racing, there should definitely be sufficient star power to bring out the crowds again, giving the race the opportunity to reignite the fever and carry it for a few more years.

One of these years, I’ll have to make the trek back to NorCal to go watch what is likely the hardest criterium in the United States. 90 minutes, 120+ feet of climbing per 1.1 mile circuit. Brutal.


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