Armstrong All but Guarantees Tour Win

Armstrong All but Guarantees Tour Win (AP)

SAINT-ETIENNE, France – As if Lance Armstrong had anything left to prove, as if his crowning achievement really needed an emphatic stamp, cycling’s greatest champion gave his best performance Saturday — claiming the stage win he lacked and all but guaranteeing a seventh consecutive Tour de France victory.

Armstrong swept away any notion that this Tour would be somehow incomplete without winning a stage, pouring on speed at the end of Saturday’s time trial to round out his unparalleled career. Unlike his previous six winning Tours, the American had not won an individual stage — until Saturday’s 20th.

He beat stage runner-up Jan Ullrich by 23 seconds and extended his already comfortable overall race lead to 4:40 over Ivan Basso of Italy, setting him up for a victory ride on the last leg into Paris on Sunday, when the 33-year-old will retire.


Armstrong said he was retiring with “no regrets.” Winning the Tour has brought him huge fame and fortune. “There’s no reason to continue. I don’t need more,” he said.

“My time is up, I don’t crave attention.”

To be so completely dominant in such a grueling sport is amazing.

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Leopold Stotch
About Leopold Stotch
“Dr. Leopold Stotch” was the pseudonym of political science professor then at a major research university inside the beltway. He has a PhD in International Relations. He contributed 165 pieces to OTB between November 2004 and February 2006.