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WATSONVILLE, CA -- The California Giant Berry Farms cycling team will be competing this weekend (May 2-3) at the Tour of the Gila in Silver City, NM. This five-stage road race has been a favorite of the team for the past several years, but this year might be a little more memorable for the riders.

The incentive to win this year is even greater as the Cal Giant riders get the opportunity to finally race against seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong. Race organizers confirmed that Mr. Armstrong is returning to competition at the upcoming Tour of the Gila after recovering from collarbone surgery. After initially being barred from riding in the five-day event because of an International Cycling Union rule, Mr. Armstrong was subsequently cleared to compete as an individual.

For 23 years, the Tour of the Gila has remained one of the state's more challenging early-season stage races. Renowned for its tough climbs, hot weather and fast professional fields, the hilly five-day stage race begins April 29 in Silver City, NM. Riding for California Giant will be James Mattis, Justin England, Jesse Moore, John Hunt and Ozzie Olmos, according to an April 28 press release from Cal Giant.

Riders and spectators in Silver City, NM, will also have the added benefit of purchasing California Giant strawberries at the local Walmart Supercenter. Those interested may visit www.calgiantcycling.com to keep informed on the race results and how the Cal Giant riders stack up against the legendary Mr. Armstrong.