Armstrong All but Guarantees Tour Win
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 Ã¢€” 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 Ã¢€” 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.