The Armstrong Story - Part III

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07/18/2003| 0 comments
by Ian Melvin

The Armstrong Story - Part III

Part III - Times get tough.

overall honors at the race and kick-started his season.

For the Texan, the 1995 Tour de France turned out to be his very own The good, The bad and The ugly.  There was the loss to Polti's Sergei Outschakov on stage 13 into Revel.  Then, two days later there was the tragic death of Armstrong's Italian team-mate Fabio Casartelli from head injuries sustained when he fell on a descent.  The following day was rode as a memory to the reigning Olympic champion after the Motorola team decided to continue in the race at the start in
Tarbes
; all remaining team mates crossing the finish line together that day just ahead of the peloton.  "That certainly changed my attitude towards the sport," said Lance looking back at the events some months later.  "What was so special about that day was that nothing had been planned - it all happened spontaneously that morning and was completely unanimous," he added.  Finally there was stage 18 where Armstrong broke clear of the peloton in a small group before leaving all his companions and soloing into
Limoges
to take a very emotional victory.  Riding through the final 200m pointing up at the sky, "That was for one person," he declared.

But 1995 wasn't over yet.  To cap off a memorable six weeks he triumphed at San Sebastian, the Spanish World Cup race where three years previously he had finished in the very last position, over twenty minutes behind the winner that day, Raul Alcala.  Determined to not repeat the mistakes he made in the Tour on stage 13, attacking his break away companions until only one remained, Armstrong sprinted to victory and so brought his young and turbulent career full circle, silencing his critics and also earning respect within the peloton.  
"I feel now that I'm proving that I'm here to stay and that I want to be a good professional," he said later in the year.  "If I continue to have more years like 1995 I will have the beginning of a good career, a solid career to look back on.?

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