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Sturgis rally attendance expected to top last year

STURGIS, S.D. (AP) -- Organizers expect attendance at this week's Sturgis Motorcycle Rally to top the estimated 466,000 who made the annual trek last year.

The 74th rally starts Monday and runs through Sunday.

Dethroned cyclist Lance Armstrong is the official grand marshal of the mayor's ride, which formally begins the rally.

Armstrong won seven consecutive Tour de France titles and was later stripped of those titles for doping.

Rally officials say they understand the controversy that surrounds Armstrong, but say he represents the American spirit and a city that believes in second chances.

Joining him on a ride through the Black Hills will be Sturgis Mayor Mark Carstensen, state and local legislators, industry professionals, motorcycle enthusiasts and other celebrities.

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