Floyd Landis finished 40th last year
WELLINGTON, New Zealand -- Disgraced cyclist Floyd Landis will ride in New Zealand's Tour of Southland next month for the second time.
After repeated denials, Landis admitted this year to the doping which caused him to be stripped of his 2006 Tour de France title. He competed in the five-day, nine-stage New Zealand tour last year and finished 40th of the 95 riders who completed the race.
Tour manager Bruce Ross said Monday he has no objection to the American rider's participation.
"He feels he has to put things right," Ross told The Associated Press. "He realizes he's made mistakes, but he's served his time and now he just wants to get on with his life."
Landis will ride for Auckland-based professional team Orca Velo Merino, which will include three New Zealand and two Australian riders. He lacked support in last year's race, but could be more competitive in a stronger team this year.
"It's fair to say he was closely watched last year," Ross said. "He was a bit of a marked man so he wasn't really able to assert himself that much.
"But it's clear he really enjoyed it here and he wanted to come back. I'm sure he'll be welcomed by the other riders."
As well as admitting to his own doping, Landis has accused Lance Armstrong and others of cheating. The Landis allegations helped set in motion a U.S. federal investigation into cycling, including Armstrong.
Armstrong, who won the Tour de France a record seven times, repeatedly has denied allegations he took performance-enhancing drugs.
Landis' involvement in an Australian conference on the eve of last month's world road cycling championships in Geelong, west of Melbourne, was met with intense criticism from race organizers, who withdrew their support for the event.
Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press
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