Lance Armstrong ended his storybook career in Paris on Sunday by winning a record seventh consecutive Tour de France title.
It seemed impossible in 1999, when he collected the first of his 82 yellow jerseys and the third of 23 stage wins, for anyone to win seven Tours — in particular a rider like Armstrong who almost lost his life to testicular cancer diagnosed in 1996.
In the seven years that ended on Sunday, Armstrong helped cycling shift from a sport of traditions and folklore into a modern, professional, global one.
In a speech he gave from the podium, he said: “To all the cynics, I’m sorry for you. I’m sorry you can’t believe in miracles. This is a great sporting event and hard work wins it; Vive le Tour forever.”
I really admire Lance Armstrong for his strong will, his love for the sport, his power, that let him overcome his illness, and his great optimism.
Congratulations for this record seventh win, you truly and totally deserve it.