Lance Armstrong to ride two stages of 2015 Tour de France route

Disgraced drug cheat to make controversial appearance in charity ride despite being asked not to

Lance Armstrong will ride two stages of this year's Tour de France route.

The disgraced doping cheat, who was stripped of his seven titles from 1999 to 2005 after admitting he had used performance-enhancing drugs during all of them, is taking part in a ride for charity.

The American will ride part of the route alongside former England footballer Geoff Thomas one day ahead of the professional peloton fundraising for Cure Leukaemia.

"We know Lance's involvement has split opinion, so we've tried to be as respectful as possible," Thomas told the BBC.

"The stages Lance will be riding come towards the end of week two, when I know all the riders will need some support.

"I know his arrival will give them the encouragement they will need to carry on with this gruelling challenge and in turn raise as much money as possible for blood cancer patients."

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Lance Armstrong

 

Armstrong, who overcame testicular cancer before the first of his seven Tour 'wins', will ride the 198.5km 13th stage between Muret and Rodez on 16 July and the following day take on the 198.5km 14th stage from Rodez to Mende.

Earlier this year when the idea was first mooted, International Cycling Union (UCI) president Brian Cookson warned Armstrong that taking part would be disrespectful.

"Lance would be well advised not to take part in that," he said. "I'm sure Geoff Thomas means well, but frankly I think that's completely inappropriate."

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