Monday, July 25, 2005

Lance says goodbye

Lance Armstrong bid goodbye to his cycling career yesterday. This amazing performer won his 7th straight Tour De France easily to claim the yellow jersey. I started following the race since 2 years. Thanks to Ten Sports in India and every other channel in Germany. For people who dont know about Tour De France, here is a quick view.
It is a cycling race held in France every year. The race is divided into stages (this year there were 21 stages) which happen on everyday. Each stage could be around 150-200 kms of rough terrain. The winner gets the yellow gersey and is the one who finishes all the stages in the least aggregate time. This would mean that the yellow gersey need not be the fastest guy in in every stage. What this boils down to is that - the final winner need not win any of the individual stage! The average speed of the winner is about 45km/hr !

The story of Armstrong is like a fable. Lance was diagnoised of Testicular cancer. That was the end of his sporting career if not of him. He kept his semen in a bank and underwent an operation. For 8 months or so he was expected to die. But miraculously he survived. Then he won 7 straight times. He now has 3 children from his girlfriend, singer Sheryl Crowe. People initially accused him of getting extra energy because of the medicines he was taking. But all the tests suggested otherwise.

The unique thing about this Texan is that he only participated in this race. He practised hard for this race, going through the circuit multiple times, so that he knows each and every turn. Many say that because he does not participate in other events, he cannot be termed as an all time cycling great. But they also accept that 7 yellow jerseys is not a child's play aswell.

What is he going to do next? He hasn't disclosed much about this. He can dedicate time for his cancer institute, become a great dad, can coach young cyclists, can be a secretory to his singer wife...Too many options.
Lance is a legend and an inspiration to everybody.

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