Armstrong pulls out of Loire race

Seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong has been forced to pull out of the Circuit Sarthe-Pays de la Loire race after coming down with a viral intestinal infection.

Seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong has been forced to pull out of the Circuit Sarthe-Pays de la Loire race after coming down with a viral intestinal infection.

The American, who was 24th after the opening day yesterday, did not start today’s second stage and is now set to return to the US as soon as his condition allows.

“As far as Lance Armstrong is concerned, maybe we will have to change his programme again,” said RadioShack team director Alain Gallopin.

“That’s work for the coming days. Lance was really keen on performing well, especially in the time trial of Wednesday afternoon.

“He showed his growing condition in the Tour of Flanders, where he came in with the first group sprinting for the fifth place.”

Several cyclists from caught the virus last week in Flanders.

Armstrong reported via his Twitter account yesterday that “six of the eight guys from our Flanders squad are down and out with a stomach bug” before adding last night: “Not so lucky I guess. Sicker than a dog now. This sucks.”

He posted this morning: “Well, I’m alive. Barely it feels like. That was the roughest stomach virus I’ve ever had. Tough night. Thanks for all the support.”

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