Lance Armstrong won the next to last stage in the Tour de France Saturday, setting the stage for a triumphant, record setting ride to the Champs Elysees Sunday and a record seventh consecutive 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 – 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 – until Saturday’s 20th.Armstrong, who is retiring at the end of the race, has made his case that he is the most dominant athlete in modern times. To paraphrase Laurence Simon’s annual observation of Armstrong victories, “In the land of the ball-less, the one-balled man shall be king.“
More at, naturally, the Tour de France 2005 Blog
Update: After winning the 2005 Tour de France, Armstrong bids farewell.