Lance Armstrong Ready to Ride in Tour de France

Armstrong confirms Tour ride in 2009.

Lance Armstrong will ride in the 2009 Tour de France, marking the first time he will compete in that race and the Giro d'Italia in the same year.

"I'm committed to riding for the best guy," Armstrong said Monday, acknowledging the taxing schedule could leave him riding in a supporting role in France. Armstrong's Astana team includes 2007 Tour winner Alberto Contador and is loaded with other talented riders.

"We'll abide by the same code that I do: cycling is team sport, while we'd all like to win," the seven-time Tour champion told The Associated Press in a telephone interview from Tenerife in the Canary Islands where Astana is training.

The 37-year-old Armstrong stunned the cycling world in September, when he announced he was ending his three-year retirement.

He's scheduled to return to elite racing Jan. 20 for the Tour Down Under in Australia.

He has dedicated his comeback to raising awareness for his global fight against cancer.

After voicing concerns in recent weeks about his personal safety in France, Armstrong dismissed that issue Monday: "It's not going to keep me from going and doing my job, and it's not going to keep me from spreading my message."

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