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Lance Armstrong

About Lance Armstrong

An Interview with Lance Armstrong

More About Lance Armstrong

Born September 18, 1971, Lance Armstrong was raised by his mother Linda, a single parent, in their hometown of Plano, Texas. Gravitating to sports at an early age, Lance won the Iron Kids Triathlon at 13 and became a professional triathlete when he was just 16 years old. While still a senior in high school he was invited by the U.S. Cycling Federation to go to Colorado Springs to train with the junior U.S. National Team, and to travel to Moscow for the 1990 Junior World Championships. By 1991 he was the U.S. National Amateur Champion. Lance remained an amateur competitor through the 1992 Olympic games in Barcelona, where he finished 14th.

Despite a disheartening and humbling last place finish in his first professional race-the 1992 Classico San Sebastian-Armstrong remained on the racing circuit. In 1993 he won ten titles including the World Champion, U.S. Pro Champion, and a stage victory in the prestigious Tour de France. He also won the $1 million Thrift Drug Triple Crown. In 1995 Lance secured his place in racing history by winning the Tour Du Pont, by being named the 1995 Velo News American Male Cyclist of the Year, and by scoring a dramatic and heartfelt stage 18 win at the Tour de France in honor of his fallen teammate Fabio Casartelli. In an equally dramatic victory, Lance also became the first American to win the Classico San Sebastian. In 1996 Lance, then ranked as the number one cyclist in the world, recaptured his success at the Tour Du Pont (the first person to do so), was the first American to win the traditional spring classic Fleche Wallone in Belgium, and competed as a member of the U.S. cycling team in the Atlanta summer Olympic games.

In October 1996 Armstrong was diagnosed with advanced testicular cancer. He underwent three operations and one of the most aggressive forms of chemotherapy available. Describing his bout with the disease as "a special wake-up call," Armstrong became a spokesperson for testicular and other forms of cancer and founded the Lance Armstrong Foundationa non profit organization established to benefit cancer research, awareness and early detection. In 1997 he was declared cancer-free.

He celebrated his victory over cancer and his "official" return to U.S. cycling by winning the Spring 56K Criterium in the streets of downtown Austin, part of the Ride for the Roses, a weekend of cycling and celebration benefiting the Lance Armstrong Foundation. He also went on to score stunning victories at the Tour de Luxembourg, the Rheinland-Pfalz Rundfarht in Germany, the Cascade Classic in Oregon, and fourth places finishes in both the Tour of Holland and the Tour of Spain. Back home in the U.S., Armstrong awarded his Foundation's first two grants to cancer research. In excess of $300,000, the gifts were a direct result of funds raised from the 1997 and 1998 Ride for the Roses.

In 1999 Armstrong won the Tour de France, setting a new record for speed. By winning the four most important stages of the race, the three time trials and the first mountain stage, he earned a place among the great Tour winners of history. Only four cyclists before him had won the three time trials.

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