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A little over a year later, he capped his comeback in grand style by becoming the second American, after Greg Le Mond, to win the Tour de France.He repeated that feat in July 2000, and followed with a bronze medal at the Summer Olympic Games.Stricken by illness before the start of the race, Armstrong fell at one point after snagging a spectator's bag, and barely avoided another crash by swerving across a field.He finished one minute and one second ahead of Germany's Jan Ullrich, the closest of his Tour triumphs.“I'm well aware my presence is not an easy topic, and so I encourage people if they want to give a high-five, great. I'm a big boy, and so I made the bed, I get to sleep in it.”Born in 1971 in Texas, Lance Armstrong became a triathlete before turning to professional cycling.His career was halted by testicular cancer, but Armstrong returned to win a record seven consecutive Tour de France races beginning in 1999.Armstrong was back in top form to claim his record-breaking sixth Tour win in 2004.
Soon after, Armstrong chose to focus on cycling, his strongest event as well as his favorite. Armstrong left high school temporarily to do so, but later took private classes and received his high school diploma in 1989. national amateur champion and beat out many professional cyclists to win two major races, the First Union Grand Prix and the Thrift Drug Classic.
He went on to win a stage at Italy's Settimana Bergamasca race later that summer. With a surprisingly sluggish performance, however, he came in only 14th.
Undeterred, Armstrong turned professional immediately after the Olympics, joining the Motorola cycling team for a respectable yearly salary.
When doctors found tumors on his brain, however, his odds of survival dropped to 50-50, and then to 40 percent.
Fortunately, a subsequent surgery to remove his brain tumors was declared successful, and after more rounds of chemotherapy, Armstrong was declared cancer-free in February 1997.
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As the leader of the Motorola team, he overcame difficult conditions—pouring rain made the roads slick and caused him to crash twice during the race—to become the youngest person and only the second American ever to win that contest.