Lance Armstrong has announced that he will ride the 2009 Giro d'Italia, whose route is due out soon. Not exactly a shock, as he had been making some noises about having regrets for never going to la Corsa Rosa before. And from a competitive standpoint, he's not in much of a position to place all his bets on the Tour, after two years off and with Contador in the mix now. So if he's committed to racing the Giro, not as prep for France but to win, he might nab a grand tour after all.
As for the race, I'm sure they're thrilled. Media-wise, it's not easy keeping up with the Tour and a somewhat rejuvenated Vuelta. Presumably Zomegnag, when he visited Lance in Austin two weeks ago, promised to cut down on the transfers (17 last year) and throw in a long time trial. Anyway, I know opinions of Lance are pretty mixed here and elsewhere, but the thought of him doing races of this magnitude, freed of the clampdown tactics of his later tours, sounds bloody entertaining.