Do You Know Who Won the Tour De France Seven Times?

Otto I. Eovaldi

Professional bicyclist Lance Armstrong,was born on September 18, 1971, as Lance Edward Gunderson. He is one of the most amazing athletes ever born. At the age of twelve years old, his career took off by winning in an adult competition. He actually started off as a tri-athlete. He was number 1 in 1987 and 1988 in the Tri-Fred. He attained a status of professional tri-athlete. Then in 1989 and 1990 he won the triathlon championship. He finished the race at the fourteenth position in the 1992 Summer Olympics. At the World Road Race, he became the youngest rider to win the championship.

In 1999, Lance Armstrong went on to win the highest prestigious race, Tour de France and subsequently went on to earn it 7 years in a row, from 1999 to 2005 which broke the prior record set by Miguel Indurian, who won the race 5 times in a row.More of his incredible accomplishments include ABC television network who titled him the Wide World Sports Athlete of the Year back in 1999. In 2002, he was named the Wide World Sports Athlete by Sports Illustrated magazine. For four sequential years, from 2002-2005 he was named Associated Press Male Athlete of the Year. In 2003, the BBC, gave him the Sports Personality award of the Year recognised as the Overseas Personality Award.

Lance Armstrong has backed his victories by revealing that he had trained for several months in Spain. He was able to win the Tour de France seven times consecutively because all his focus was focused purely on the Tour de France and he would not be involved in any other competition, which gave him the chance to train for 180 days at a stretch. In that period former cyclist Chris Carmichael, who was also his coach, trained him.

Armstrong explained he was able to maintain higher peddle rotation in a lower gear in comparison with previous champions who utilized a high gear and brute strength. High cadence, or pedal rotation, leads to less leg muscles stress in comparison to lower cadence, which in turn leads to extreme leg muscle contractions. He also had a unusually high aerobic threshold. His substantial pedaling rotation, or cadence was attributed to his low lactate level, which was his most unusual quality.

Though Armstrong’s team was not that strong initially in the Tour de France, the later wins he achieved, raised the team level. Armstrong is also a part of the US Postal Service bicycling team. Although, unfortunately his US postal service team members were not a match to his caliber and frequently he was isolated. He strengthened this team by making sponsors and equipment suppliers work together. He did this by obtaining bicycle parts which at that time, were being designed by different companies. Since they were separate companies, they never interacted with one another. Armstrong with able to get the sponsors and the bicycle part suppliers to work together so they could take complete benefit of all the resources available. Lance Armstrong made such an impact that still today, there are many companies in the cycling circuit that have followed this method.

Lance Armstrong has also had more than his fair share of life’s troubles. In 1996, He underwent brain and testicular surgery. Testicular cancer was detected in the 3rd stage and the cancer had spread to his brain, lungs and his abdomen. His chances of survival were only at 3 percent. Due to the incredibly low survival rate, he opted for a dangerous, very aggressive chemotherapy treatment so he could resume his career. His incredibly courageous recovery and his astonishing success motivated him to set the foundation for his charity, The Lance Armstrong Foundation, established in 1997. He went back to bicycling after just three years of recovering from cancer and won, the first of seven, Tour de France titles by triumphing over Alex Zulle by seven minutes and 37 seconds. Amazing.

There have actually been people over the years, who have doubted his achievements and say that Armstrong took performance-enhancing drugs to win in certain instances. None of these allegations could ever be verified. There has in no way been any evidence brought forth to date. Did you know Lance Armstrong has even appeared in the movies? You might have seen him in the movie Dodgeball, or maybe in 2004 the movie called A True Underdog Story, or maybe You, Me and Dupree, released in 2006. Lance Armstrong took his retirement at the closing of the 2005 Tour de France racing event, on July 24, 2005. After retiring, he has been concentrating on his charity foundation and has taken part in many marathons.

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