Saturday, June 4, 2011

Lance Armstrong before he won the Tour de France seven times

Winning the Texas State Championship 1991

When most people think of Lance Armstrong they immediately think of his record seven Tour de France victories. But Armstrong was a great champion long before he ever had his first Tour de France victory.

Armstrong was born on September 18, 1971 in Texas, where he grew up. At 16 years of age, he became a professional triathlete and became national sprint-course triathlon champion in 1989 and 1990 at 18 and 19 years old.

In 1991 Armstrong won the U.S. amateur national championship. In 1992 he represented the USA in the Summer Olympics, and then signed a contract to race professionally for the Motorola team. He won his first race with Motorola, the Trophee Laigueglia in Italy, beating the favorite Moreno Argentin in 1992.

In 1993 Lance stunned the cycling world when at age 21 he became one of the youngest riders to ever win the UCI Road World Championship, held in pouring rain in Norway that year. He also took his first stage win that year in the Tour de France, winning the stage from Chalons-sur-Marne to Verdun. He also collected the Thrift Drug Triple Crown of Cycling: the Thrift Drug Classic in Pittsburg, the K-Mart West Virginia Classic, and the CoreStates USPRO national championship in Philadelphia. Thrift Drug had offered a $1 million prize to any rider winning all three races. Lance won the $1 million, a feat previously unachieved.

In 1994, he again won the Thrift Drug Classic and came in second in the Tour Dupont in the United States.

Lance Armstrong won the Tour Dupont in the years 1995 and 1996. In 1996 he competed again in the Summer Olympic Games held in Atlanta, Ga, USA.

1994 Thrift Drug Classic

1996 Tour Dupont

Tour de France stage win
Thrift Drug Classic

In the video below Lance Armstrong wins the 1993 World Road Race Championship in Norway. It is pouring rain and he is in a solo break pursued by the best in the world. Lance is 21 years old and will turn 22 in a few weeks after this race.

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