Lance Armstrong has an impressive career behind him, with seven victories in the Tour de France. In 2008 he announced his second comeback. However, it is of an entirely different order than his second comeback in 1998. The time had not much gescheeld about his comeback would be prematurely abandoned.Tour de France runs like a thread through his life. But his fight against cancer. Lance Armstrong was born September 18, 1971 in Plano, Texas, also happens to be the site of Southfork Ranch, known for the series “Dallas”. He grew up in a single parent family. His mother had three different jobs to help the family make ends meet. Later, his mother Linda married Terry Armstrong, a discipline. His stepfather brought him discipline and not always in a friendly way. In his youth Lance interested in several sports. He started swimming and then went biking. The move to triathlon was made quickly. At sixteen, he became a professional tri-athletes. In 1989 and 1990 he was the US champion. From triathlons soon found that his strength lay in cycling.
The First Cycling Career
In 1992, Lance Armstrong 14 at the Olympic Games in Barcelona. In the same year he also made the transition to professional cycling. Armstrong made between 1992 and 1996, part of the American Motorola team. In 1993 was the most successful in his early career. Besides day-old and 10 victories in stage races, he also became one of the youngest winners of the World Cup on the road. With the rainbow jersey on the shoulders 1994, less smooth. In 1995 he won including Clásica San Sebastián, the Tour DuPont and eighteenth stage of the Tour de France. In 1996, he among other things, Fleche Wallonne and the Tour DuPont back to it, but he had that year because of illness avoid an early stage in the Tour de France. He still gets twelfth at the Olympic Games in Atlanta.
The Discovery of Cancer
Lance Armstrong was able to endure much pain. That’s why it took a while before the disease appeared, until he started vomiting blood. He was taken to hospital for photographs. On 2 October 1996 at the age of 25 was diagnosed with testicular cancer. The cancer had already spread to his abdomen, lungs and brain. His chances of survival were minimal. One of his doctors also mentioned a percentage of somewhere between 3% and 40%. He underwent two major surgeries and an experimental form of chemotherapy. A year took the fight against cancer.But Armstrong came back on top. Since then he has stubbornly committed to the fight against cancer. In 1997 he founded the Lance Armstrong Foundation, known for the yellow Livestrong bracelet with it. The Foundation has already raised over $ 250 million.
Despite a contract with Cofidis cycling team did Lance Armstrong in 1997 not yet in action. For several days cycling race, the Tour of Andalucia / Ruta del Sol, he returned to the professional circuit. His comeback was a lot of media attention. Lance was finished fourteenth and called his first major competition success. But under the harsh conditions of the Paris-Nice, a month later, he stepped by disillusioned. In his autobiography “The threshold of pain,” he writes: “I do not know how much time I have left, but I do not want to spend on cycling I have shown in the Ruta del Sol that I could make a comeback, I do not .. more to prove to myself or for people with cancer. I stopped cycling, I’ve had it. “to the dismay of his girlfriend Kristin Richard, whom he married on May 8, 1998. Armstrong wrote at the time:” I did nothing at all, I rippled water went, drank beer and I lay on the couch channel surfing .. “in 1998, he also had to return to the hospital every month for monitoring.
Armstrong was well done. At Motorola, he had a contract for 642 000 USD per year. At Cofidis, he earned 000 600 USD and his annual salary of US Postal, his new team since 1998, was US $ 700,000. Also by its price, he is already a millionaire, who lives in a beautiful villa in the Texas capital of Austin. He wanted to announce his resignation in mid-1998, with American championship as a farewell match. His manager, Bill Stapleton persuaded him to train again good for it, with the words “Lance, you’ll always be the guy who got cancer and was never cyclist.” Coach Chris Carmichael takes him to task in the Appalachian Mountains, battlefields in the Tour DuPont, where he was so successful. There, Armstrong again confronted with themselves. He decides to continue with cycling, “If you can still go ahead, you’re not sick.”
Tour of Luxembourg
June 11, 1998, he appeared quite anonymous to the start of the Tour of Luxembourg. He looks faded out. He gains the first step of a pin secession colleagues Lauri Aus. The platoon has four minutes behind. Three days later, he also won the overall classification of the Tour of Luxembourg. Later that month, he triumphed in the Rheinland-Pfalz Rundfahrt and the Tour of Spalbeek. In autumn 1998, after his first major stage race: the Tour of Spain. He is the fourth. Team manager Johan Bruyneel US Postal think he owns the gold. He convinced Lance to bet everything on the Tour de France in 1999. The rest is history.
See also: Lance Armstrong – the 1999 Tour de France.