It’s official: Lance is the first cyclist to win 6 Tours de France!

The AP reports the great news.

Lance Armstrong has done what four other great cyclists were unable to do: win six Tours de France. Jacques Anquetil, Eddy Merckx, Bernard Hinault and Miguel Indurain all tried and failed. In fairness, Lance has concentrated on the Tour, timing his fitness to peak in July, whereas champions of the past were more likely to compete in many more races each year. Still, to come back from death’s door, and win the single most grueling endurance event in the world, six times in a row? The man is a hero.

I saw OLN TV’s “Lance Chronicles” tonight, and Lance was talking about the time trial up the Alpe D’Huez. This was the day he received death threats, had two security guards, and was screamed at, spit at, and had things thrown at him by the German fans. Ironically, those German fans ended up costing their national champion the stage the next day. Andréas Klöden attacked brilliantly about 500 meters from the finish, and it seemed every commentator in the world said it was all over. And it truly looked that way. Then Lance did the impossible, and reeled Klöden in at the last possible moment, beating him by inches at the line. It was a stand-up-and-shout moment, for me at least. What I didn’t know, what Lance said tonight, was (and I must paraphrase here), “I watched him take off, and I remembered a couple of loogies in the face the day before, and I thought, ‘You can not win today.’ ”

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