Lance Armstrong and rival Alberto Contador weren’t set to ride against each other until the Tour de France.
But cycling fans will be getting a much earlier glimpse.
Contador, the defending Tour de France champion, has altered his race schedule, adding at least one event that should include Armstrong.
That’s the Criterium International on March 27-28. It’s a three-stage race, including a short time trial as the finale, and will take riders through Italy for 180 miles.
Armstrong and Contador were teammates a year ago for Astana, but there was considerable friction between the two at the Tour. Contador won; Armstrong finished third, eventually riding in support of Contador.
Armstrong since helped create Team RadioShack, which signed all but two riders off of Astana’s 2009 Tour de France roster.
Contador also said this week that he may ride in two spring classics — Fleche-Wallonne (April 21) and Liege-Bastogne-Liege (April 25). Armstrong also has included those races on his schedule.
Armstrong’s next race comes Saturday, the Milan-San Remo. That race will be used more for training than to pad his race résumé. Sprinter Mark Cavendish is the defending champion. Armstrong has ridden the Milan-San Remo eight times and has never won it.