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Lance Armstrong wins seventh consecutive and last Tour de France

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  • Lance Armstrong wins seventh consecutive and last Tour de France

    Lance Armstrong wins seventh consecutive and last Tour de France

    JOHN LEICESTER 51 minutes ago



    PARIS (AP) - For one last time, the Star Spangled Banner rang out over the Champs-Elysees in honour of Lance Armstrong, the cancer survivor who finished his amazing career with a seventh consecutive victory Sunday in the Tour de France.

    On the winner's podium set against the backdrop of the Arc de Triomphe, the Tour's record-setting champion held his yellow cap over his heart as the American anthem played.

    His three children joined him on the podium. His twin daughters, Grace and Isabelle, wore yellow dresses - the colour of the race leader's jersey that Armstrong slipped into one last time.

    "Vive le Tour, forever," he said.

    But Armstrong also delivered a parting shot at "the cynics" who suspect that doping is rife in cycling and fueled his dominance of the past seven years.

    "I'm sorry you don't believe in miracles," he said.

    Armstrong looked gaunt, his cheeks hollow, after riding 3,593 kilometres across France and its mountains over the past three weeks. He said U.S. President George W. Bush called to congratulate him.

    Because of wet conditions, race organizers stopped the clock as Armstrong and the main pack entered central Paris. Although riders were still racing, with eight circuits of the Champs-Elysees to complete, organizers said then that Armstrong had officially won.

    Alexandre Vinokourov of Kazakhstan eventually won the final stage, with Armstrong finishing safely in the pack. He won the Tour by four minutes 40 seconds over his closest challenger, Ivan Basso of Italy, who improved on his third-place finish last year.

    Jan Ullrich, the 1997 Tour winner who was the rival Armstrong said he feared most, was third, 6:21 back.

    Armstrong praised the two riders - who could fight to succeed him next year.

    "To end a career with this podium is really a dream podium," Armstrong said.

    "This is the way he wanted to finish his career, so it's very emotional," said his rockstar girlfriend Sheryl Crow.

    The stage started as it has done for the past six years - with Armstrong celebrating in the yellow jersey.

    One hand on his handlebars, the other holding a flute of champagne, the 33-year-old Texan toasted his teammates as he pedalled into Paris to collect his crown. He held up seven fingers - one for each win - and a piece of paper with the number 7 on it.

    His sixth win last year already set a record, putting Armstrong ahead of four other riders. Frenchmen Jacques Anquetil and Bernard Hinault, Belgian Eddy Merckx and Spaniard Miguel Indurain all won five Tours.

    Armstrong's new record of seven wins confirmed him as one of the greatest cyclists ever, and capped a career where he came back from cancer diagnosed in 1996 to dominate the sport's most prestigious and taxing race.



    http://news.yahoo.com/s/cpress/20050...le_tour_france
    http://stores.ebay.com/MAKSYM-Variety-Store

  • #2
    He's the man!
    -ResonantEcho - T6/T7 Complete - October 31st, 1986

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    • #3
      I really enjoyed watching the tour this year. Congratulations to Lance and the Discovery Team.
      T12 Incomplete - Walking with Crutches, Injured in Oct 2003

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      • #4
        He´s strong enough to win again, but he´s graceful enough to step off into the history books. It´ll be a long time before anybody else can win 7 tours, let alone 8.
        "So I have stayed as I am, without regret, seperated from the normal human condition." Guy Sajer

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        • #5
          "Vive Le Lance"

          Congratulations, Lance, and the Discovery team. This years Tour was really fun to watch. Especially the time trial in stage 20 won by Lance. His story is truly remarkable.

          It especially gave me warm, fuzzy feelings today to hear Lance had arranged for Ivan Basso's Mother, who was diagnosed with cancer, to have the best treatment possible. Unfortunately, she lost her battle. But, what a guy. I hope he continues to do great things with his celebrity.
          Please submit your photo and story of hope:

          http://bridges2hope.unite2fightparalysis.org/


          http://unite2fightparalysis.org/

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          • #6
            Susan I was not aware of that what a nice story. From everything I've seen and read about him he seems to be very compassionate person and thinks about others more often than himself. What a great role model.
            www.cawvsports.org
            The trick is in what one emphasizes. We either make ourselves miserable or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same. ~ Don Juan Matus
            We are Virginia Tech… We must laugh again… No one deserves a tragedy… We are strong, and brave, and innocent, and unafraid…We are better than we think and not quit what we want to be…We are the Hokies…We will prevail, we will prevail, we will prevail. We ARE Virginia Tech! ~ Nikki Giovanni

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            • #7
              Congrats to Lance and Team Discovery

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              • #8
                This Lance is something of his own. I guess he is and must have been the greatest sports athlete of all times. And I don’t think there are any harder sports than this. There are approx. 3000 pros around the world competition in this sport, and the best thing is to win the tour. And he has done it seven times! And that is also after having cancer! I just bow for him.



                I’m also looking forward for Sheryl Crow’s new album “Wildflower” due to be released September 27th. I believe the title track is written for Lance.

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                • #9
                  His girlfriend is Cheryl Crow. . . . .hubba hubba~~

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                  • #10
                    hubba hubba~~
                    hubba hubba, that's right, and now she will take over for the bikes

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                    • #11
                      Yes, Congrats to Lance and the Discovery team. I think what he's done is short of amazing. Cycling, especially stage races like the Tour de France, is so much about the team and the sacrifices the USPS and Discovery teams made for Lance. I used to race and it helps so much to draft behind someone and save your energy. I saw a special on Discovery channel that said his race team and support team is made up of 75 people. You also have to give Lance credit for taking the sport to the next level - he is a fanatic about training, nutrition and equipment and keeps pushing the bar higher for all of these. With that said, it will be interesting how much people in the U.S. are interested in the sport now that Lance has retired.

                      Steve

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                      • #12
                        The interest for cycling are high I think. Here in Norway after Thor Husovd did win the green jersey the cycle sales stores have seen a high rise in cycle sales. By the way the tour de France is the third most watched sport event world wide after the soccer world championship and with the summer Olympics on top.

                        A bit out of thopic here, but anyway.

                        Leif

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Leif
                          This Lance is something of his own. I guess he is and must have been the greatest sports athlete of all times. And I don’t think there are any harder sports than this. There are approx. 3000 pros around the world competition in this sport, and the best thing is to win the tour. And he has done it seven times! And that is also after having cancer! I just bow for him.



                          I’m also looking forward for Sheryl Crow’s new album “Wildflower” due to be released September 27th. I believe the title track is written for Lance.
                          I remembered this post of mine - Just bought the new Sheryl Crow CD "Wildflower" today, it's actually pretty good although havent played it enough.

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