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Jul 24 2005

Lance Armstrong - 7th Tour de France Victory

232armstrong.jpg

I hope you've been following the career of Lance Armstrong, because in your lifetime there will never be another athlete...another person...like him. When you are old and passing down stories to your grandchildren, other than telling them embarrassing things about their parents, or what you were doing on 9/11, there won't be a better or more powerful story to share with them than that of Lance Armstrong.

armstrong1.jpg

In 1993 and 1995, Armstrong won stages in the Tour de France with Team Motorola. He won the Tour DuPont, the premier U.S. Cycling event, in 1995 and 1996. Armstrong's early career peaked in 1996 when he was ranked the number one cyclist in the world. But, later in 1996 Armstrong abandoned the Tour de France and had a disappointing Olympic Games. While Armstrong was physically talented in his early career, he didn't yet possess the mental discipline and dedication necessary to consistently compete at the highest levels of cycling.

armstrong2.jpg

Then on October 2, 1996, Armstrong was diagnosed with testicular cancer that had metastasized (not a good thing), spreading to his lungs and brain. He was told he had a 50 percent chance of survival. After his recovery, one of his doctors said Armstrong's chances were maybe as low as three percent but that he was told 50 percent in order to give him hope. Treatment included sawing two silver dollar size holes in his scull to remove brain lesions as well as removal of a testical. Standard chemotherapy would have ended Armstrong's career as one side effect is reduced lung function. So Armstrong opted to undertake a more severe radiation regiment which was less likely to damage his lungs but which resulted in burns on the inside of his skin.

armstrong3.jpg

Despite the odds, Armstrong survived his battle with cancer and, with a new found dedication, he won three races in 1998 and the Tour de France in 1999. If the story ended here it would be the greatest comeback story of all time.

armstrong4.jpg

But, Armstrong went on to win seven Tour de France races an impossible feat even for someone healthy their whole life. In the 102 year history of the Tour de France (only 92 races due to war), four other riders have won five times: Belgian Eddy "the Cannibal" Merckx, Spaniard Miguel Indurain and Frenchmen Bernard Hinault and Jacques Anquetil. No one has won six, let alone seven, other than Lance Armstrong. (The list of five time winners might have included a German by the name of Jan Ullrich if not for the American from Texas.)

armstrong5.jpg

Cycling is very much a team sport and thanks and accolades unquestionably go to Armstrong's teammates: José Azevedo, Manuel Beltran, George Hincapie, Gonzalez Benjamin Noval, Pavel Padrnos, Yaroslav Popovych, José Luis Rubiera, and Paolo Savoldelli.

armstrong6.jpg

Thank you Lance for seven amazing years and for one heck of a story to someday share with the grandkids.

Posted by Don |

6 Comments

  1. #1
    Crowe said on July 26, 2005 | Reply

    Agreed. Incredible career. Most dominant-in-his-sport athlete ever. More than Michael Jordan, more than Tiger Woods, more than, I daresay, Babe Ruth.

    My only beef with Lance is that he left his wife, the one who helped him through cancer, and is now dating Sheryl Crow. Granted, i don't know all the details, but I generally take a very dim view of willful divorcees.

  2. #2
    Don said on July 26, 2005 | Reply

    Crowe! Great to hear from you. I almost said that no one takes a dimmer view of divorce than me, but then I saw who the author was.

    I have tried to hunt down details regarding his divorce so that, for lack of a better phrase, I could know who to blame but have been unable to find such information which is probably a good thing as it's really none of our business. Anyway, I intentionally left out any reference to his divorce and politics which in his own words is left of center.

    Considering that Lance's mom was 17 when he was born and that his dad was abusive to his mom and walked out two years later and that his mom has been married four times. I don't think he ever really learned about the sanctity of marriage.

    We all are sinners and no doubt, what I get right in the marriage department, I screw up somewhere else. Keeping my stones in a pile by my feet.

  3. #3
    betsy said on July 28, 2005 | Reply

    If you read, "It's not About the Bike, My Journey Back to LIfe," by Lance Armstrong and Sally Jenkins, you will learn that Lance didn't meet his ex-wife until after his bout with cancer. They met while organizing Lance's first Ride for the Roses. He was dating another young lady while going through his cancer treatment. Whay a playah!
    Seriously, divorce is the business of the couple involved. It's tragic yes, but sometimes the best choice. Who are we to judge? Perhaps his ex-wife Kristen dumped him! I wonder if folks would be less quick to judge if Lance weren't dating a rock star?

  4. #4
    TJ said on May 16, 2006 | Reply

    Heyyy-- Lance is *** awsomeee he is my *** hero every1 should like feel the same bout him like seriously he survived cancer and he won the Tour De France 7 times

    [*** Edited to remove naughty words.]

  5. #5
    Camille said on June 6, 2006 | Reply

    OMG!!!!!!! That was an awesome story thingie...
    What hasn't Lance Armstrong done I mean cancer Tour de France an amazing biking career cancer fighter He'as AMAZING>

  6. #6
    katie said on April 19, 2007 | Reply

    i think lance is an awesome man. he is very inspirational to me and i am glad to see him happy. i think anybody who has went through as much as he has deserves to be happy

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