The seven-time Tour de France champ is in Europe to participate in several races

By Peter Mikelbank
Updated March 10, 2009 11:15 AM
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Lance Armstrong is back in Paris, the city he hopes to conquer – again – this July. The seven-time Tour de France winner, who is seeking an unprecedented comeback, has his sights set on taking an eighth title when the famed bike race ends on the Champs-élysees on July 26.

He arrived in the City of Light without fanfare – but with his girlfriend Anna Hansen, who is due to give birth to the couple’s child in June.

Following warm-up races in Australia and California, Armstrong looking fit and lean, is onto the next stage of getting ready for the Tour. He’ll compete in a one-day Milan-San Remo race in two weeks and the grueling Giro d’Italia in May, which will determine whether he feels he can compete in this year’s Tour de France.

In Paris, Armstrong is expected to make a few quick connections and meetings concerning his Live Strong Foundation. The Emmanuel Perrotin Gallery will hold an art exhibit and charity auction for the foundation in June. The gallery will show pieces donated by artists including Obama portraitist Shepard Fairey, who with several others, will also decorate bikes that Armstrong intends to ride in European races this year, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Before leaving Los Angeles, Armstrong told fans, he had recovered “pretty well” from his recent races. “I did a couple of easy days, then I did a big block of training in Austin. This past week I took it pretty easy.”

Those easy days are, as they say in France, finis.