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By VeloNews Interactive wire services, Copyright AFP2002
Three-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong has been ruled out of this week’s Tour of Murcia after coming down with a stomach bug.
The U.S. Postal team leader was due to make his first competitive appearance in Europe of the year in the classic, which gets underway on Wednesday, but has been weakened by a bout of gastro-enteritis.
Armstrong’s absence further depletes a field already missing 1997 Tour de France champion and 2000 Sydney Olympics gold medallist Jan Ullrich of Telekom.
The German announced his withdrawal of the race on Monday after failing to recover from a nagging knee injury.
Ullrich also had to pull out of the Tour of Valencia late February due to the same injury. The Tour of Murcia is scheduled for March 6-10.