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News briefs: Québec ruled out for ’08 Tour start; Armstrong sues former employee

Tour de France organizers have ruled out breaking new ground by starting the 2008 edition of the race in Québec City. The Tour has ventured out of France before, but only within Western Europe and never before has it crossed the Atlantic Ocean. But with American Lance Armstrong having won the last six Tours and Québec looking to celebrate its founding in 1608 by Frenchman Samuel de Champlain, the project was examined. The conclusion, however, was that it would be too difficult to organize from a logistical point of view with scores of people, bikes and equipment to move and the time zone

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By VeloNews Interactive, With wire services

Tour de France organizers have ruled out breaking new ground by starting the 2008 edition of the race in Québec City.

The Tour has ventured out of France before, but only within Western Europe and never before has it crossed the Atlantic Ocean. But with American Lance Armstrong having won the last six Tours and Québec looking to celebrate its founding in 1608 by Frenchman Samuel de Champlain, the project was examined.

The conclusion, however, was that it would be too difficult to organize from a logistical point of view with scores of people, bikes and equipment to move and the time zone difference would adversely affect competitors.

Next year’s Tour starts from Noirmoutier Island in western France, with Strasbourg favored for 2006 and London for 2007.

Armstrong sues former assistant
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Lance Armstrong is suing a former personalassistant who claims the six-time defending Tour de France champion oweshim $500,000.In a lawsuit filed Monday, Armstrong and his personal service company,Luke David LLC, are seeking to declare an alleged employment contract withMike Anderson invalid.Anderson claims that Armstrong sent him an e-mail in 2002 setting proposedterms of employment, according to papers filed in the lawsuit Monday.Anderson, who helped Armstrong with training and landscaping, allegesthat the e-mail served as a contract. But papers in the lawsuit statedthat he could be terminated at will.After being fired in November, Anderson demanded that Armstrong andhis company pay $500,000 to him and his wife, the lawsuit states. Andersonalso demanded a signed Tour de France jersey and future endorsements fromthe cycling champion.Armstrong’s agent, Bill Stapleton, did not immediately return a telephonemessage from The Associated Press. Anderson could not be reached for comment.