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WharfRat
07-21-2003, 09:54 PM
I was asked in an interview about 2 years ago, who my hero was.
Without hesitation, I responded... Lance Armstrong. The man has overcome cancer, and won the Tour de France 4 times straight. He's now going for a record tying 5th straight win, the first American to do so, and only the 2nd ever... in a year that I personally would love to see an American do what no Frenchman could do...in France....


LUZ-ARDIDEN, France (AP) - His yellow jersey smeared with dirt after a fall, Lance Armstrong got back on his bike with a fierce look that said it all: The Tour de France is slipping away. It's now or never.
Riding like the four-time champion he is, Armstrong overcame a hard crash and two weeks of lackluster form to tear away from his closest challengers Monday and set cycling's premier race up for a gripping finale.
In its 100-year history, the Tour has witnessed many epic days, but few like this.
A spectator knocked Armstrong off his bike just as he was accelerating away from archrival Jan Ullrich in the day's last ascent, to the ski resort of Luz-Ardiden high in the misty Pyrenees.
His left elbow grazed, the 31-year-old Texan picked himself up, remounted and, fueled by the adrenaline of the crash, stormed past Ullrich to perhaps save his chances of equaling Miguel Indurain's record of five successive Tour wins.


Click here for the full story. (http://sports.iwon.com/news/07212003/v9377.html)

Ride Lance, Ride!! :up:
http://www.finheaven.com/clear.gif

Scrap
07-22-2003, 09:03 AM
He is my personal hero as well. Good read. Thanks Wharf.

RUDEbyallMEANS
07-23-2003, 06:03 PM
Lance Armstrong without a doubt is the best athlete in the World.. In My Opinion... it's just amazing what these cyclists do..

WharfRat
07-23-2003, 09:37 PM
Update:


BAYONNE, France (AP) - Riding with the pain of a broken collarbone, veteran American racer Tyler Hamilton won his first ever stage in the Tour de France on Wednesday after a brave solo breakaway effort.

Lance Armstrong retained his 67-second overall lead, with four days of racing left. He finished 24th in Wednesday's stage, 1 minute 55 seconds behind Hamilton.


Full Story (http://sports.iwon.com/news/07232003/v1370.html)

They're out of the mountain stages now.... which is Armstrong's strength. He still has the yellow leader's jersey... but he'll have to ride hard to keep it. Ullrich isn't far behind.
At least it was a fellow American who won today's stage... how about that guy Hamilton... winning a mountain stage with a broken collarbone!
:allhail:

Den54
07-24-2003, 03:23 PM
Its Not About The Bike is one of the most inspirational books I've ever read. I highly reccomend it.

WharfRat
07-24-2003, 07:34 PM
Update 7/24:

Lance retains overall lead for another day!


BORDEAUX, France (AP) - Saving himself and his overall lead for their great battle to come, Lance Armstrong finished grouped with archrival Jan Ullrich in the Tour de France's pancake-flat 17th stage Thursday, their focus on an expected race-deciding time trial.

For Armstrong, the day's purpose was to stay safe, out of any crashes. Mission accomplished. His U.S. Postal Service team, racing in a long line at the front of the main pack of riders, guided him toward the finish in Bordeaux, southwestern France's wine capital.

The four-time champion, pursuing Spanish great Miguel Indurain's record of five successive wins, placed 28th, just behind Ullrich. They finished in the same time, 8 minutes and 6 seconds behind Knaven, meaning Armstrong preserved his 67-second lead over the German with just three days of racing to go.

Armstrong and Ullrich are fixing their attention on Saturday's individual time trial, when they race against the clock and try to clinch the overall title.


Link to Full Story (http://sports.iwon.com/news/07242003/v2783.html)

baccarat
07-24-2003, 08:39 PM
Armstrong is a great athlete and a good guy! He's alright in my book!

Cranx
07-24-2003, 09:18 PM
I'm very happy to see Lance getting some pub here in this forum as this is a man who embodies dedication, heart, determination, and sportsmanship. I've found myself looking forward to each stage of the Tour de France with an anticipation I've only felt for Dolphins games prior to this. When Lance has a good day and does something spectacular I cheer as though Ricky were breaking off an 80 yard TD run and when Lance has a bad day, I find myself a little bit less joyful for the remainder of the day.

I realize that cycling isn't the easiest sport in the world to watch if you're not a cyclist, but I guarantee that if you take the time to really learn the sport behind what these guys are doing out there you will have a profound appreciation and enjoyment of this the most grueling event in all of sports.

WharfRat
07-24-2003, 09:53 PM
Agreed Expo!!

Nice post BTW.

I know you're an avid cyclist, much more so than I. Personally, I prefer road riding, whereas, if I'm not mistaken, you're more of an off-road rider.
When in decent shape, I can make the century mark, but not for days on end, and over those mountains, like they do in the Tour... I'd probably not make it past the 2nd day :goof:

Anyway...few really appreciate the athleticism of these guys... to say it's "grueling" is an understatement.

Cranx
07-24-2003, 10:04 PM
Originally posted by WharfRat
Agreed Expo!!

Nice post BTW.

I know you're an avid cyclist, much more so than I. Personally, I prefer road riding, whereas, if I'm not mistaken, you're more of an off-road rider.
When in decent shape, I can make the century mark, but not for days on end, and over those mountains, like they do in the Tour... I'd probably not make it past the 2nd day :goof:

Anyway...few really appreciate the athleticism of these guys... to say it's "grueling" is an understatement.

I actually do both these days. I picked up a roadie (Giant TCR 2) a couple of months ago and I've been logging some serious time on the road. I bought the ride for training but I've discovered that I enjoy road riding nearly as much as I do MTB'ing.

After logging several hundred miles on my new bike and feeling spent after a solid 40-60 miles, I have an even more profound respect for Lance, Ullrich, Hamilton, and the rest of that field for doing this over a span of three weeks and 2,000+ miles with 7 stages up hills that make me wimper at the very sight of them.

At any rate, it's good to know that there are a couple of other people around here who are enjoying Lance's incredible outing (and the rest of this epic Tour de France for that matter) as much as I am.

BTW, did you happen to catch Tyler Hamilton's incredible 170k breakaway yesterday? That had to be one of the most amazing pieces of cycling I've ever seen! :)

WharfRat
07-24-2003, 10:07 PM
Originally posted by Expo88


BTW, did you happen to catch Tyler Hamilton's incredible 170k breakaway yesterday? That had to be one of the most amazing pieces of cycling I've ever seen! :)

OMG yes... was that awesome or what?
The breakaway/finish was a spectacle in and of itself... but the fact that he's been riding since day 2 with a broken collarbone, makes it simply incredible!!!

Cranx
07-24-2003, 10:14 PM
Originally posted by WharfRat


OMG yes... was that awesome or what?
The breakaway/finish was a spectacle in and of itself... but the fact that he's been riding since day 2 with a broken collarbone, makes it simply incredible!!!

I hear ya!! If you noticed, he was in so much pain at the end of that thing that he couldn't even hold the flowers and trophy at the same time. He raised one, with his left hand, then handed it back to the presentation girl, then took the other and raised it over his head. Even shaking hands he used his left hand!! How this guy is able to ride a bike for thousands of miles in such pain that he can't even shake hands is a testiment to the spectacular nature of this event and he's not only riding in it, he's making a bid for a podium finish in Paris!!!!!! Unbelievable!! :eek:

BTW, when Beloki went down and Armstrong was forced to cut accross that field it was Hamilton who reached out with his right hand (the side with the broken collar bone) to help pull him back into the fray. Also, it was Hamilton along with Ullrich who slowed the field down so Lance could ride back up after his crash on Monday; simply amazing. If nothing else it can be said that there is more honor amongst cyclists than exists anywhere else in the entire sports world.

WharfRat
07-24-2003, 10:23 PM
Originally posted by Expo88


If nothing else it can be said that there is more honor amongst cyclists than exists anywhere else in the entire sports world.

Testify Ma Brotha!

That's so true... time and time again, you see competitors reaching out to help their rivals... you just don't see that in any other sport...

Den54
07-25-2003, 07:33 AM
I like to road ride also. I have a nice CannonDale, an old cad3 design thats still like new. I'll sometimes go riding in the Clermount area near Orlando. There are some good hills there and it gives me a chance to daydream as I ride that I'm 1/10 of the rider of Armstrong.:lol:

WharfRat
07-26-2003, 05:43 PM
Update 7/26:

Armstrong all but locks up Tour!!!

Armstrong Beats Ullrich in Time Trial to Lock Up Fifth Straight Tour Title



NANTES, France (AP) - Lance Armstrong climbed the podium to receive a bouquet of flowers and the fresh yellow jersey signifying his overall lead in the Tour de France with just one stage left.
He finished 11 seconds ahead of challenger Jan Ullrich in Saturday's 19th stage, stretching his lead in the overall standings to 1 minutes, 16 seconds - enough to assure victory, though by what will be his slimmest margin.
"This year was not acceptable," he said. "I don't plan on being this vulnerable next year, I really don't. I think that it was good for me to have a rough year. To be honest, to win by 5 or 6 minutes gets old, and you start to take certain things for granted."

How can you not admire this guy? already talking about next year... what an achievement that would be to win it 6 times straight!!

Click for Full Story (http://sports.iwon.com/news/07262003/v5204.html)

Cranx
07-26-2003, 09:02 PM
ARMSTRONG IS THE MAN!!!

The fact that Armstrong has been able to accomplish this monumental feat in spite of all the difficulties he's had over the course of this Tour has been even more awe inspiring than anyone could have ever wished for. In this race Armstrong overcame a bad crash the month prior to the Tour, a stomache virus that plagued him for the last few days leading up to the Tour, a huge crash in stage 1, bad shoes, a rear brake rubbing all the way up the first day in the Alps (this would really suck), another crash, and the most intense competition he's ever faced. He also revealed that he cracked the frame of his bike in the crash on Monday where he won the stage.

I could go on with all that this guy had to overcome in this one Tour but it would take up another 6 paragraphs! Let's suffice it to say that this was one of the most impressive displays of athletic skill and triumph any of us will ever see.

Armstrong says he's coming back next year and he said "I'm not returning to come in second." Nice!
:up:

iceblizzard69
07-26-2003, 11:35 PM
I actually watched the Tour live today on OLN for the first time. I was hearing so much about how today was so important that I just had to check it out. Ulrich and Armstrong's times were so close for a while, but when Ulrich crashed it crushed his chances of winning. Armstrong is just incredible.

Cranx
07-27-2003, 01:09 AM
Originally posted by iceblizzard69
I actually watched the Tour live today on OLN for the first time. I was hearing so much about how today was so important that I just had to check it out. Ulrich and Armstrong's times were so close for a while, but when Ulrich crashed it crushed his chances of winning. Armstrong is just incredible.

That's awesome that you took the time to watch the event this morning! If you ever have the opportunity to enjoy the sport of cycling I would highly recommend it as it will be something that gets in your blood and will stay with you forever. It'll also give you an intensely profound respect for what these guys do on their bikes day in and day out.

WharfRat
07-27-2003, 12:31 PM
***Armstrong Wins!!!***

Armstrong Wins 5th Tour De France in Row


PARIS (AP) - Sipping champagne to celebrate his victory, Lance Armstrong won his hardest but sweetest Tour de France title Sunday - a record-tying fifth straight win that places him alongside the greatest cyclists in the sport.
The 31-year-old cancer survivor and Spanish great Miguel Indurain are now the only two riders to win the sport's most grueling and prestigious race five times straight - a record Armstrong plans to break next year.

Way to Go Lance! :up:
http://www.finheaven.com/clear.gif
I'll bet that champagne in his hand is the sweetest he's ever tasted!


Only the 2nd person in the 100 year history, to do it 5 times straight!

Here's to an unprecidented 6th next year! :drinkers:

I have all the confidence in the world that he can pull it off next year, without the stomach flu prior to the event, and all the stebacks he had to overcome this year.... had it not been for all of that, Ullrich wouldn't have even come close.

Link to Full Story (http://apnews1.iwon.com//article/20030727/D7SHV2GG0.html)