The United States Postal Service Pro Cycling Team’s Lance Armstrong will not start the Paris-Nice stage race, scheduled to begin on Sunday in Paris, because of bronchitis.
Armstrong, the winner of the 1999 Tour de France, was recovering from a sore throat that forced him to leave the Tour of Valencia stage race in Spain after three stages one week ago. However, while continuing his training at his home in Nice, Armstrong began to feel the beginnings of bronchitis.
“Having Lance race Paris-Nice with bronchitis would set him back even further,” said Johan Bruyneel, the U.S. Postal Service team’s director sportif. “He will stay in Nice to recover and train, and we hope we will start Milan-San Remo (March 18). He will then continue with his normal program, which includes upcoming races such as Semana Catalana (March 20-24) and the Tour of the Basque Country (April 3-7).”
The USPS’ Patrick Jonker will take Armstrong’s place at Paris-Nice, joining teammates Frankie Andreu, Julian Dean, Viatcheslav Ekimov, George Hincapie, Benoit Joachim, Christian Vande Velde and Cedric Vasseur.