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Lance Armstrong to compete in first race following doping confession

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Lance Armstrong has annonuced his first public cycle race following his confession to doping in January.

Armstrong plans to compete in the Des Moines Register's Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa (RAGBRAI).

Lance Armstrong photographed in July 2010

© PA Images / John Giles / PA Wire



Armstrong confirmed his plans to race in the July event with the Des Moines Register.

This will mark his fifth year competing in the newspaper's annual event.

"It's just me wanting to go ride my bike with what in the past has been a friendly group of people that share the same interests," Armstrong said of his decision to race.

Lance Armstrong pictured in February 2011

© PA Images / Thao Nguyen / AP

Lance Armstrong was stripped of his Tour de France titles by the US Anti-Doping Agency



"I'm well aware my presence is not an easy topic, and so I encourage people if they want to give a high five, great. If you want to shoot me the bird, that's okay, too."

Armstrong was banned from professional cycling by the US Anti-Doping Agency in October 2012.

The former professional cyclist will compete in the annual bike race across Iowa, which takes place over a 406-mile course between July 21 and 27.

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