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Armstrong had a strong year in 1993, winning cycling's "Triple Crown"—the Thrift Drug Classic, the Kmart West Virginia Classic and the Core States Race (the U. He started off well in his first-ever Tour de France, a 21-stage race that is widely considered cycling's most prestigious event.Though he won the eighth stage of the race, he later fell to 62nd place and eventually pulled out.At the 1998 Tour of Luxembourg, his first international race since returning from cancer, Armstrong showed he was up for the challenge by winning the opening stage.A little over a year later, he capped his comeback in grand style by becoming the second American, after Greg Le Mond, to win the Tour de France.
Then the seventh-ranked cyclist in the world, he signed a lucrative contract with a new team, France's Team Cofidis.In October 1996, however, came the shocking announcement that Armstrong had been diagnosed with testicular cancer.Well advanced, the tumors had spread to his abdomen, lungs and lymph nodes.Born on September 18, 1971, in Plano, Texas, Lance Armstrong was raised by his mother, Linda, in the the suburbs of Dallas, Texas. He began running and swimming at 10 years old, and took up competitive cycling and triathlons (which combine a 1,000-meter swim, 15-mile bike ride and three-mile run) at 13.At 16, Armstrong became a professional triathlete—he was the national sprint-course triathlon champion in 19. Olympic development team invited him to train in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
No one else seemed to believe in him, however, and Cofidis pulled the plug on his contract and $600,000 annual salary.