Lance Armstrong out of Paris-Nice

1999 Tour de France champ Lance Armstrong is pulling out of the prestigious early-season Paris-Nice race. Armstrong has been announced to ride in the race from March 5 to March 12, but team officials say he is not on the U.S. Postal team's start list.

It's no secret the Texan has been swamped by the onslaught of post-Tour de France engagements. He even spent March 1 making an appearance in Spain. And perhaps the busy public-appearance schedule has been taking its toll on the champ.

After all, he dropped out of the Tour of Valencia, his first race back in Europe, and has reportedly been suffering in training.

Why then, would he want to suffer through what is often a cold and wet week of racing, especially when his main objective the Tour de France is still four months away?

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