Lance Armstrong's cycling team, Astana, to train in California

Updated: November 18, 2008, 8:22 PM ET
Associated Press

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- The Astana professional cycling team, which now includes Lance Armstrong, will stage its United States training camp in California after spending last year in New Mexico.

Astana spokesman Philippe Maertens said Tuesday that as it did last year, the squad is planning two camps -- in December and February. The European camp will be in Tenerife, Spain, while the U.S. camp is heading to Solvang, Calif.

Last year's camps were in Javea, Spain, and Albuquerque.

The New Mexico city provided the Astana team with high-altitude training and other amenities, such as a drug testing lab across from the team's hotel and police escorts during training rides.

However, Maertens suggested the January temperatures, which were in the 20s for much of the team's stay, were a liability.

"It was super in Albuquerque but the team has chosen for better weather," Maertens said in an e-mail to The Associated Press. "Lance Armstrong always went to Solvang. Probably it played a role in the choice."

The Spanish training camp opens Dec. 4. The team didn't announce a date for the California camp.

Armstrong is making a comeback after three years of retirement. He will be reunited with Astana team director Johan Bruyneel, who oversaw Armstrong's seven Tour de France victories with the U.S. Postal Service and Discovery teams.

The Astana team also features 2007 Tour winner Alberto Contador, who won this year's Giro and Spanish Vuelta, along with American veteran Levi Leipheimer, Andreas Kloeden of Germany and Ukrainian Yaroslav Popovych.


Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press