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