Lance The Boss Armstrong retired from professional cycling last week. This time for good. Lance Armstrong won the Tour de France – cycling’s most important race – 7 consecutive times. More than any other rider in history.
In 1993, at the ripe old age of 21, Lance Armstrong became the world’s youngest ever road racing world champion and had a bright future ahead of him. Wins in the 1995 Classica San Sebastian and a stage win in the Tour de France seemed to confirm this. Then, in October 1996, Lance Armstrong was diagnosed with testicular cancer. With the cancer having spread to his lungs, abdomen and brain doctors gave Armstrong a 40% survival chance. Cycling and winning races was a thing of the past. Or so we thought.
In 1998 Lance Armstrong made his first comeback into the peloton of professional road racing. He finished fourth in the Vuelta a Espana, but the real magic started in 1999, the year in which he won his first of seven consecutive Tour de France road races until his retirement in 2005. In this period he also won 25 Tour de France stage wins.
After 3 and a half years of mainly focusing on family life and Lance Armstrong Foundation – famous for the yellow LiveStrong bracelets – Armstrong came out of retirement in 2009 to give it one more try. He added one more stage win in the Tour de France to his record, but could never regain the form of the glory days. And at the age of 38 no one would blame him for that.
He announced his permanent retirement on February 16th 2010. He leaves the sport as the most successful Tour de France rider ever and the most tested for doping too. The rumors about the use of performance enhancing products are rife, but The Boss has never ever tested positive so we’ll leave it at that. Thanks for the many memories Lance.

Lance Armstrong

01. Overall leader and five-time Tour de France winner US Postal rider Lance Armstrong cycles down a mountain during the 204.5 km long 17th stage of the Tour de France from Bourg-d'Oisans to Le Grand Bornand, in this July 22, 2004 file photo. Armstrong, who recovered from cancer to win the Tour de France a record seven times, formally announced his retirement from cycling on Wednesday, a month after his last race. The 39-year-old American, who made a comeback to the sport two years ago, said he was quitting for good to spend more time with his family and his charities. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini/Files

Lance Armstrong

02. U.S. Postal Service Team rider Lance Armstrong of the United States reacts as he crosses the finish line to win the 180.5 km long 15th stage of the Tour de France, from Valreas to Villard-de-Lans, France, July 20, 2004. Armstrong won the stage ahead of CSC rider Ivan Basso of Italy (L) and took the leader's yellow jersey. Armstrong went on to win his sixth consecutive Tour de France. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini

Lance Armstrong

03. Former cycling champion Lance Amstrong of the United States addresses a news conference, January 10, marking his return to heading the Cofidis professional cycling team. Armstrong took part in his first training session January 10 since undergoing treatment for cancer recently.

Lance Armstrong

04. Leader of the Tour de France cycling race Lance Armstrong of the USA prepares his departure for the final 143,5km 20th stage of the Tour de France cycling race from Arpajon to Paris July 25. The Tour de France riders covered 3690km this year.

Lance Armstrong

05. US Postal rider Lance Armstrong, the first six-time winner of the Tour de France cycling classic, celebrates on the podium with the trophy after the 20th and final stage of the Tour in Paris in this July 25, 2004 file photo. Armstrong, who recovered from cancer to win the Tour de France a record seven times, formally announced his retirement from cycling on Wednesday, a month after his last race. The 39-year-old American, who made a comeback to the sport two years ago, said he was quitting for good to spend more time with his family and his charities. REUTERS/Bernard Papon/Pool/Files

Lance Armstrong

06. Discovery Channel team rider Lance Armstrong of the U.S. celebrates his victory on the podium after the 21st and final stage of the 92nd Tour de France cycling race between Corbeil-Essonnes and Paris in this July 24, 2005 file photo. Armstrong, who recovered from cancer to win the Tour de France a record seven times, formally announced his retirement from cycling on Wednesday, a month after his last race. The 39-year-old American, who made a comeback to the sport two years ago, said he was quitting for good to spend more time with his family and his charities. REUTERS/Files

Lance Armstrong

07. Overall winner Discovery Channel team rider Lance Armstrong is seen on the podium after the 21st and final stage of stage of the 92nd Tour de France cycling race between Corbeil-Essonnes and Paris, in this July 24, 2005 file photo. Armstrong, who recovered from cancer to win the Tour de France a record seven times, formally announced his retirement from cycling on Wednesday, a month after his last race. The 39-year-old American, who made a comeback to the sport two years ago, said he was quitting for good to spend more time with his family and his charities. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini/Files

Lance Armstrong

08. Overall winner Discovery Channel team rider Lance Armstrong cycles down the Champ-Elysees for the parade after the podium ceremony for the 21st and final stage of stage of the 92nd Tour de France cycling race between Corbeil-Essonnes and Paris, in this July 24, 2005 file photo. Armstrong, who recovered from cancer to win the Tour de France a record seven times, formally announced his retirement from cycling on Wednesday, a month after his last race. The 39-year-old American, who made a comeback to the sport two years ago, said he was quitting for good to spend more time with his family and his charities. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini/Files

Lance Armstrong

09. Discovery Channel team rider Lance Armstrong and his three children, Luke, Isabelle and Grace, stand on the podium after the 21st and final stage of the 92nd Tour de France cycling race between Corbeil-Essonnes and Paris, in this July 24, 2005 file photo. Armstrong, who recovered from cancer to win the Tour de France a record seven times, formally announced his retirement from cycling on Wednesday, a month after his last race. The 39-year-old American, who made a comeback to the sport two years ago, said he was quitting for good to spend more time with his family and his charities. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini/Files

Lance Armstrong

10. U.S. Postal Service Team rider Lance Armstrong crosses the finish line to win the 204.5 km long 17th stage of the Tour de France from Bourd-d'Oisans to Le Grand Bornand, France, in this July 22, 2004 file photo. Armstrong, who recovered from cancer to win the Tour de France a record seven times, formally announced his retirement from cycling on Wednesday, a month after his last race. The 39-year-old American, who made a comeback to the sport two years ago, said he was quitting for good to spend more time with his family and his charities. REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay/Files

Lance Armstrong

11. US Postal rider Lance Armstrong of the United States toasts with a glass of champagne shortly after the start of the 20th and final stage of the Tour from Montereau to Paris, in this July 25, 2004 file photo. Armstrong, who recovered from cancer to win the Tour de France a record seven times, formally announced his retirement from cycling on Wednesday, a month after his last race. The 39-year-old American, who made a comeback to the sport two years ago, said he was quitting for good to spend more time with his family and his charities. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini/Files

Lance Armstrong

12. File photo shows US cyclist Armstrong as he leaves doping control van after 2001 Tour de France stage victory in the French Alps. US cyclist Lance Armstrong, seen in this July 18, 2001 file photo as a rider for the US Postal team, exits the doping control van after his victory in the 32km time trial 11th stage of the Tour de France cycling race from Grenoble to Chamrousse in the French Alps. French sports paper L'Equipe, saying it had access to laboratory documents, reported earlier this week that six urine samples taken from Armstrong, collected on the 1999 Tour de France, showed traces of the performance-enhancing drug EPO. Armstrong, winner of seven consecutive Tour de France cycling races, has consistently denied taking performance-enhancing drugs. Picture taken July 18, 2001 REUTERS/Eric Gaillard/Files

Lance Armstrong

13. Lance Armstrong looks out from the doping control van after the 14th stage of the Tour de France cycling race from Tarbes to Luz-Ardiden in the French Pyrenees in this July 22, 2001 file photo. Despite unparalleled success as a cyclist, Armstrong could never shed allegations he was a drug cheat. Rumors spread for years that the the seven times Tour de France winner who retired on Wednesday used performance-enhancing drugs to fuel his brilliant career. Armstrong, a cancer survivor who has never failed a doping test, vehemently has denied the allegations. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard/Files

Lance Armstrong

14. Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong hosts the 2006 ESPY Awards at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood, California July 12, 2006. REUTERS/Mike Blake

Lance Armstrong

15. RadioShack's team rider Lance Armstrong cycles during the eighth stage of the Tour de Suisse from Wetzikon to Liestal June 19, 2010. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann

Lance Armstrong
Lance Armstrong

17. US Postal Service team rider Lance Armstrong of the USA listens to his national anthem on the Champs Elysees during the podium ceremony of the 2001 Tour de France cycling race in Paris July 29, 2001. Armstrong won for the third time the Tour de France cycling race and Deutsche Telekom team rider Jan Ullrich of Germany took the second place in the overall standing.

Lance Armstrong

18. Astana rider Lance Armstrong of the U.S. laughs as he cycles during the third stage of the 96th Tour de France cycling race between Marseille and La Grande-Motte July 6, 2009. REUTERS/Bogdan Cristel

Lance Armstrong

19. Astana rider Lance Armstrong of the U.S. arrives at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel before the Tour of Ireland cycling race in Enniskerry near Dublin August 20, 2009. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth

Lance Armstrong

20. Seven time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong of the U.S. smiles during a stop on the first day of training with his new team Astana in Tenerife, Spain's Canary Islands December 1, 2008. Armstrong came out of retirement to ride for Astana, which started its its preseason training camp in Tenerife, in the Canary Islands. REUTERS/Santiago Ferrero

Lance Armstrong

21. Astana rider Lance Armstrong of the U.S. crosses the finish line past the Colosseum at the end of the last stage of the Giro d'Italia in Rome, May 31, 2009.

Lance Armstrong

22. Lance Armstrong celebrates on the podium after winning the fifteenth stage of the Tour de France

Lance Armstrong

23. US Postal team rider Lance Armstrong of the USA signals five win, July 27, 2003. Armstrong won the 100th anniversary Tour de France, and becomes the fifth, five-time winner of the tour along with Jacques Anquetil of France, Eddy Merckx of Belgium, Bernard Hinault of France and Miguel Indurain of Spain. REUTERS/Vincent Kessler

Lance Armstrong

24. Doctors examine 2001 race winner US Postal team rider Lance Armstrong of the USA during the Tour de France cycling race medical visit July 4, 2002. The 89th Tour de France cycling race gets underway July 6 with a 7km time-trial prologue in Luxembourg. REUTERS/POOL/Laurent Rebours

Lance Armstrong

25. Discovery Channel team riders led by Armstrong of the US cycle to the finish line to win the team time trial fourth stage in the 92nd Tour de France cycling race. Discovery Channel team riders led by Lance Armstrong of the U.S. cycle to the finish line to win the 67.5 km (42 miles) fourth stage team time trial from Tours to Blois in the 92nd Tour de France cycling race, July 5, 2005. The team's overall time is 1 hour 10 minutes and 39 seconds. REUTERS/Jacky Naegelen

Lance Armstrong

26. U.S. Postal team rider Lance Armstrong (R) leads the pack during the 15th stage of the 89th Tour de France cycling race from Vaison La Romaine to Les Deux-Alpes July 23, 2002. Kelme rider Santiago Botero of Colombia won the stage. Armstrong retains the race leader's yellow jersey. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard

Lance Armstrong

27. Discovery Channel team rider Armstrong of the U.S. holds up seven fingers signifying his seven wins in the Tour de France at the start of the final stage. Discovery Channel team rider Lance Armstrong of the U.S. holds up seven fingers, signifying his seven wins, before starting the 21st and final stage of stage of the 92nd Tour de France cycling race in Corbeil-Essonnes, near Paris, July 24, 2005. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini

Lance Armstrong

28. Discovery Channel team rider Armstrong passes the Arc de Triomphe in Paris after winning his seventh Tour de France. Discovery Channel team rider Lance Armstrong of the U.S. passes the Arc de Triomphe in Paris after winning his seventh Tour de France, July 24, 2005. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer

Lance Armstrong

29. Discovery Channel team rider Armstrong of the U.S. cycles amongst the pack during the 21st and final stage of stage of the Tour de France cycling race. Discovery Channel team rider Lance Armstrong of the U.S. (C) cycles amongst the pack during the 21st and final stage of the 92nd Tour de France cycling race between Corbeil-Essonnes and Paris, July 24, 2005. Armstrong is the overall winner, claiming his seventh victory. REUTERS/Thierry Roge

Lance Armstrong

30. U.S. singer Sheryl Crow with Discovery Channel team rider Lance Armstrong's daughters attend the 21st and final stage of stage of the Tour de France cycling race. U.S. pop singer Sheryl Crow (L), girlfriend of Discovery Channel team rider Lance Armstrong, and Armstrong's two daughters Isabelle et Grace, attend the 21st and final stage of the 92nd Tour de France cycling race between Corbeil-Essonnes and Paris, July 24, 2005. Armstrong is the overall winner, claiming his seventh victory. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini

Lance Armstrong

31. Overall winner Discovery Channel team rider Armstrong of the U.S. embraces his son Luke after the podium ceremony after the 21st and final stage of stage of the Tour de France cycling race. Overall winner Discovery Channel team rider Lance Armstrong of the U.S. embraces his son Luke after the podium ceremony after the 21st and final stage of stage of the 92nd Tour de France cycling race between Corbeil-Essonnes and Paris, July 24, 2005. Armstrong is the overall winner of the 92nd Tour de France, claiming his seventh victory. REUTERS/Thierry Roge

Lance Armstrong

32. Tour de France cycling race winner Lance Armstrong of the USA kisses his 9 month-old son Luke as he celebrates his race victory on the podium after the 21st and last stage of the three week race with took place within the city of Paris July 23. Armstrong won his second consecutive Tour de France.

Lance Armstrong

33. Lance Armstrong of the USA listens to National anthem on the podium following his second consecutive victory in the month-long Tour de France cycling classic July 23.

Lance Armstrong

34. Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong of the USA rides with U.S. flags as he celebrates his victory on the Champs Elysees July 23. Armstrong successfully battled testicular cancer two years ago, and will now go on to compete in the Olympics in Syndey in September.

Lance Armstrong

35. Overall winner Discovery Channel team rider Lance Armstrong reacts after the 21st and final stage of stage of the 92nd Tour de France cycling race between Corbeil-Essonnes and Paris, in this July 24, 2005 file photo. Armstrong, who recovered from cancer to win the Tour de France a record seven times, formally announced his retirement from cycling on Wednesday, a month after his last race. The 39-year-old American, who made a comeback to the sport two years ago, said he was quitting for good to spend more time with his family and his charities. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini/Files

Lance Armstrong

36. Astana rider and leader's yellow jersey Alberto Contador of Spain and teammate Lance Armstrong of the U.S. stand on the podium after the final 21st stage of the 96th Tour de France cycling race between Montereau-Fault-Yonne and Paris in this July 26, 2009 file photo. Armstrong, who recovered from cancer to win the Tour de France a record seven times, formally announced his retirement from cycling on Wednesday, a month after his last race. The 39-year-old American, who made a comeback to the sport two years ago, said he was quitting for good to spend more time with his family and his charities. REUTERS/Charles Platiau/Files

Lance Armstrong

37. Lance Armstrong of the U.S. is taken out from an ambulance as he arrives at Hospital Clinico in Valladolid, central Spain March 23, 2009. Seven-times Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong crashed on the first stage of Spain's Vuelta Castilla y Leon on Monday and was taken to hospital with a suspected collarbone fracture, organisers said. The American was caught up in an incident involving several riders on the 168.3-km leg between Paredes de Nava and Baltanas and appeared to be in pain as he was helped into an ambulance. REUTERS/Rafa Gomez-Ciclismo a Fondo

Lance Armstrong

38. Radioshack team rider Lance Armstrong poses on the podium in Paris after the final 20th stage of the 97th Tour de France cycling race between Longjumeau and Paris in this July 25, 2010 file photo. Armstrong, who recovered from cancer to win the Tour de France a record seven times, formally announced his retirement from cycling on Wednesday, a month after his last race. The 39-year-old American, who made a comeback to the sport two years ago, said he was quitting for good to spend more time with his family and his charities. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard/Files

Lance Armstrong

39. Seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong awaits the start of the 2010 Cape Argus Cycle Tour in Cape Town in this March 14, 2010 file photo. Armstrong, who recovered from cancer to win the Tour de France a record seven times, formally announced his retirement from cycling on Wednesday, a month after his last race. The 39-year-old American, who made a comeback to the sport two years ago, said he was quitting for good to spend more time with his family and his charities. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings/Files

Lance Armstrong

40. Radioshack team rider Lance Armstrong waves on the Champs Elysees in Paris during the final parade of the 97th Tour de France cycling race in this July 25, 2010 file photo. Armstrong competed in his last Tour de France. Armstrong, who recovered from cancer to win the Tour de France a record seven times, formally announced his retirement from cycling on Wednesday, a month after his last race. The 39-year-old American, who made a comeback to the sport two years ago, said he was quitting for good to spend more time with his family and his charities. REUTERS/ Francois Lenoir/Files

Lance Armstrong

41. Seven-time Tour de France winner Team Radioshack rider Lance Armstrong waits at the starting line in Visalia of stage five of the Amgen Tour of California in this May 20, 2010 file photo. Armstrong, who recovered from cancer to win the Tour de France a record seven times, formally announced his retirement from cycling on Wednesday, a month after his last race. The 39-year-old American, who made a comeback to the sport two years ago, said he was quitting for good to spend more time with his family and his charities. REUTERS/Anthony Bolante/Files

Lance Armstrong

42. Lance Armstrong of the U.S. signs an autograph before the 2011 Tour Down Under in Adelaide January 23, 2011. REUTERS/Graham Watson

Lance Armstrong

43. Lance Armstrong of the U.S. holds a boot, given to him as a gift, on the podium after the 2011 Tour Down Under in Adelaide January 23, 2011. REUTERS/Graham Watson

Lance Armstrong

44. Lance Armstrong of the U.S. signs in before the 2011 Tour Down Under in Adelaide January 23, 2011. REUTERS/Graham Watson

Lance Armstrong

45. Lance Armstrong of the U.S. looks on during the 2011 Tour Down Under in Adelaide in this January 23, 2011 file photo. Armstrong, who recovered from cancer to win the Tour de France a record seven times, formally announced his retirement from cycling on Wednesday, a month after his last race. The 39-year-old American, who made a comeback to the sport two years ago, said he was quitting for good to spend more time with his family and his charities. REUTERS/Graham Watson/Files

Lance Armstrong

46. A spectator holds a banner reading Thank You Lance at the start of the 187km (116 miles) 12th stage of the 92nd Tour de France cycling race between Briancon and Digne-Les-Bains, in this July 14, 2005 file photo. Lance Armstrong, who recovered from cancer to win the Tour de France a record seven times, formally announced his retirement from cycling on Wednesday, a month after his last race. The 39-year-old American, who made a comeback to the sport two years ago, said he was quitting for good to spend more time with his family and his charities. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini/Files)

Feb 23, 2011