Cycling – Lone star, magnificent seven

news: Cycling - Lone star, magnificent seven

LANCE ARMSTRONG, already a legend in his own lifetime following six consecutive victories in the Tour de France, added another indelible chapter to his unique contribution to the cycle sport’s history.

Leading almost throughout the 2005 race, the magnificent Texan emerged clear of the field descending from the mountain stages towards Paris. Closest rivals Ivan Basso and Jan Ullrich desperately tried to make inroads on Armstrong’s lead but found the task beyond them. The perhaps best rider of all time’s progress was serene, he himself describing his exertions as “no chain days”, meaning he felt so strong that it seemed as if his bike had no chain.

As the Champs Elysées beckoned for last Sunday’s grand finale, Armstrong was in front and proceeded to triumphantly take his historic seventh title by 4m 40s, an achievement that will surely never be surpassed.

The Discovery Channel team leader now intends to retire with the next generation poised to follow his tyre marks. George Hincapie chipped in with an epic stage win in the mountains, Giro d’Italia holder Paulo Savoldelli made the longest his own and Yaroslav Popovych is the best young rider around. Together, they can assure that the Discovery team remains the “dream team” for many years to come.