Tour de France
The 86th Tour de France (July 3-25) ran 20 stages plus a prologue, covering 2,287 miles starting in Puy-du-Fou, passing through the Alps and the Pyrenees and finishing on the Avenue des Champs-Elysees in Paris.
Against formidable odds, American Lance Armstrong, 27, rode to his first Tour de France victory in a time of 91 hours, 32 minutes and 16 seconds. His time was seven minutes, 37 seconds ahead of runner-up Alex Zuelle of Switzerland. Spain's Fernando Escartin took third, completing the course 10 minutes, 26 seconds behind Armstrong.
Less than three years before Armstrong rode down the Champs-Elysees for the victory, he was diagnosed with testicular cancer. The cancer then spread to his lungs and his brain and doctors gave him only a 50 percent chance of survival. He underwent two operations and extensive chemotherapy and began his comeback in early 1998. He is only the second American to win cycling's premier event.