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Cycling Champ to Pitch His Austin Gym

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SAN FRANCISCO Bicycling champion Lance Armstrong has teamed with 24 Hour Fitness to open a string of health clubs bearing his name, the company said Tuesday.

The first 24 Hour Fitness Lance Armstrong Sport Club will open this summer in Armstrong's hometown, Austin, Texas, the client said.

Armstrong will also appear in the fitness chain's advertising campaigns. Publicis Groupe's Publicis & Hal Riney in San Francisco handles the creative account.

The client spent $20 million on advertising in 2003, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus.

24 Hour Fitness, based in San Ramon, Calif., has also committed to sponsoring Armstrong's Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team.

"Lance Armstrong embodies everything our company believes in—hard work, determination, positive attitude and persistence while having fun along the way," said Mark Mastrov, chairman and CEO of 24 Hour Fitness Worldwide.

Armstrong, a six-time Tour de France champion and cancer survivor, runs the Lance Armstrong Foundation, a charity for cancer victims