The UCI initially advised Lance Armstrong and the Astana team they were prohibited from participating in the Tour of the Gila in New Mexico due to a International Cycling Union preventing the ProTour team from taking part.
However in an a exception in the rule, USA Cycling and UCI have worked out an agreement allowing Armstrong, Leipheimer and Horner to race under a neutral jersey team as team Mellow Johnny’s which is Armstrong’s Austin bicycle shop.
The exception allows Pro Tour riders to do up to 3 individual races per year on an individual basis. BMC Racing Team will also be racing with 3 riders, BMC falls under the same UCI regulation as a Professional Continental squad. Armstrong who has never competed in the Tour of the Gila before is using the race as a lead-up to the Giro d’Italia, and of course to promote his cancer campaign.
website: Tour of the Gila