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Tour de France

2000

 

Lance ARMSTRONG 

Erik ZABEL 

Santiago BOTERO 

Francisco MANCEBO

Winner
Lance Armstrong

 

Past Winners

 

By SHAWN POGATCHNIK
Associated Press Writer
July 23, 2000

PARIS (AP) -- Lance Armstrong, who won his greatest race against cancer, captured his second straight Tour de France on Sunday in one of the most moving comeback stories in sports.

Before cheering crowds along the Champs-Elysees, the 28-year-old Texan arrived in the main pack of riders with his commanding overall lead of 6 minutes, 2 seconds over Germany's Jan Ullrich still intact.

`It's a good moment for us,'' said Armstrong, holding his 9-month-old son, Luke, in his arms. ``You know this little guy gave me a lot of motivation in the last year. It was a hard Tour de France and like last year, I'm glad it's finished and I can spend more time with these guys.''

Armstrong's wife, Kristin, brought the boy, who was dressed in his own yellow jersey, up on the winner's platform to congratulate her husband as a band played the ``Star Spangled Banner'' and the American flag was raised.

``The first time to win as a father. It's very special,'' Armstrong said. ``He likes the press more than his dad does.''

The pack circled the grand boulevard a dozen times, gaining speed and urgency with each potentially dangerous bend in front of the Arc de Triomphe, before crossing the finish line to end the day's 86-mile circuit of central Paris.

A small band of sprinters darted ahead of the main pack to compete for the honor of winning the final stage. Stefano Zanini prevailed with a time of three hours, 12 minutes and 36 seconds. Erik Zabel of Deutsche Telekom came in second with the same time, and Romans Vainsteins of Latvia in third.

``Today is an exceptional day,'' said Zanini. ``I'm too happy.

Armstrong came 76th in this final 21st stage.

One hundred eighty cyclists set out July 1 to win cycling's most coveted honor completed the 2,250-mile epic across swathes of France, Switzerland and Germany.

There had been little doubt that Armstrong would repeat as champion as the riders arrived in Paris aboard a special Orient Express train service from Troyes, the hub of the Champagne region where Saturday's stage ended.

The riders set off from beneath the Eiffel Tower to the nearby bank of the River Seine. Pleasure boats crammed with onlookers watched Armstrong -- easily identified in his leader's yellow jersey -- and the rest glide down Avenues New York and President Kennedy across town toward the Louvre Museum.

At one point during the race, Armstrong raised a glass of champagne that someone had handed him, but he didn't take a sip.

Before the race, Armstrong was already looking ahead to September's Olympics in Sydney, and speculating openly about his prospects of clinching a first gold medal in the time trial competition. He won all three time trials in last year's Tour and as well as a time trial Friday, his first stage victory in this year's Tour.

His only scheduled appearance Sunday after the race was to attend a benefit for cancer research, a cause he's championed since being diagnosed in 1996 with advanced testicular cancer. Given less than a 40 percent chance of survival, he underwent brain surgery and chemotherapy and had a testicle removed.

He resumed professional competition in 1998 but skipped that year's Tour, which nearly fell apart over revelations that many top cyclists were using banned performance-enhancing drugs.

Armstrong himself was accused of using illegal drugs in 1999, an allegation traced to his use of a steroid-based skin cream for saddle sores. No such allegations surfaced this year, a factor Armstrong credited with making the competition less stressful even though it was physically more demanding, with four grueling stages through the Alps and Pyrenees.

As 2000 winner, Armstrong takes away $315,000, plus $7,200 for his stage win, and a range of bonuses for racking up points in other aspects of the Tour.

He will fly Tuesday to New York to begin a round of appearances before starting pre-Olympic training near his part-time French home of Nice next week.

# Day Date Daily Stages Winner
1 Sat July 1 FUTUROSCOPE MILLAR David
2 Sun 2 FUTUROSCOPE / LOUDUN STEELS Tom
3 Mon 3 LOUDUN / NANTES STEELS Tom
4 Tue 4 NANTES / SAINT-NAZAIRE Once 
5 Wed 5 VANNES / VITR� WUST Marcel
6 Thu 6 VITR� / TOURS VAN BON Leon
7 Fri 7 TOURS / LIMOGES AGNOLUTTO Christophe
8 Sat 8 LIMOGES / VILLENEUVE-SUR-LOT DEKKER Erik
9 Sun 9 AGEN / DAX BETTINI Paolo
10 Mon 10 DAX / LOURDES-HAUTACAM OTXOA Javier
11 Tue 11 BAGN�RES-DE-BIGORRE / REVEL DEKKER Erik
  Wed 12 Rest Day  
12 Thu 13 CARPENTRAS / MONT-VENTOUX PANTANI Marco
13 Fri 14 AVIGNON / DRAGUIGNAN GARCIA-ACOSTA Vicente
14 Sat 15 DRAGUIGNAN / BRIAN�ON BOTERO Santiago
15 Sun 16 BRIAN�ON / COURCHEVEL PANTANI Marco
  Mon 17 Rest Day  
16 Tue 18 COURCHEVEL/ MORZINE VIRENQUE Richard
17 Wed 19 �VIAN-LES-BAINS / LAUSANNE DEKKER Erik
18 Thu 20 LAUSANNE / FRIBOURG-EN-BRISCAU COMMESSO Salvatore
19 Fri 21 FRIBOURG-EN-BRISGAU / MULHOUSE ARMSTRONG Lance
20 Sat 22 BELFORT / TROYES ZABEL Erik
21 Sun 23 PARIS / CHAMPS-�LYS�ES ZANINI Stefano

TDF 2000

 

 

 

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