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Sunday, 23 July, 2000, 19:25 GMT 20:25 UK
A win for Lance's 'little guy'
Lance Armstrong and son
Armstrong and his main motivation this year
Lance Armstrong dedicated his second Tour de France win to his son Luke, whom he said had given him the motivation to emerge from the three-week marathon with another yellow jersey.

The baby was born after last year's Tour, after the Texan's wife Kristin had undergone IVF treatment using sperm taken before the cyclist's surgery for testicular cancer in 1996.

Armstrong had a brief family celebration on the Tour podium in the middle of the Champs Elysees.


This little guy gave me a lot of motivation. It was a hard Tour de France
Lance Armstrong
But despite receiving a prize of his weight in one of France's most famous exports, he said he was not "a champagne kinda guy" and headed off to a cancer charity function in the French capital.

During the day's final stage around Paris he had joked with other riders, sipped a glass of the famous sparkling wine and even donned a long black wig which flowed out in the wind as he rode ahead of the bunch.

Fan
American fans lined the route in Paris
Afterwards there was a mixture of relief and satisfaction at a win which confirms his rating as the world's best rider.

"It was a hard Tour de France and, like last year, I'm glad it's finished and I can see more of these guys," he said, with his wife and nine-month-old son at his side.

"This one's even more special than last year, partly because of this little guy."

On the podium Armstrong proudly held his infant son above his head, tears welling in his eyes.


Armstrong is a worthy champion - he was the strongest man
Jan Ullrich
Thousands of American fans, including actors Robin Williams and Sean Penn, were on the roadside in Paris to wave the US flag and celebrate the Texan's triumph.

"He's a serious guy who knows he's been given another chance in life," said Calfornian fan Bob Henderson, who has raised funds for Armstrong's cancer foundation.

Texan toast

The success was also toasted back in the winner's home town of Austin, Texas.

Family
A family moment after three weeks' hard work
Fans were encouraged to wear yellow to celebrations Sunday at bars but some are reluctant to buy a replica jersey.

"I don't think I deserve to wear one yet," said mountain bike racer Corbett Wood. "It's not really human what he does."

The town has been painted yellow with signs crying "Vive le Lance" and "Lance de Triomphe".

"Lance ... is truly a role model of strength and determination for all of us to follow," explained Austin Mayor Kirk Watson, himself a testicular cancer survivor.

Back in Paris, German supporters of the race runner-up were generous in defeat.

LA and JU
Ullrich (left) was generous to Armstrong
"I'm for Jan Ullrich and the rest of the Telekom team," said Stephanie Weber.

"But Lance Armstrong is very nice, he rode a good race."

Ullrich himself had no arguments, despite the 1997 Tour winner finishing second for the third time in five years.

"Armstrong is a worthy champion. He was the strongest man, and he met our every attack. He earned his victory," said the German.

Zabel success

Ullrich's team-mate and compatriot Erik Zabel was also a happy man after winning a record fifth green points jersey.

However he was annoyed at his own second place, in the final stage behind Stefano Zanini of Italy.

"This is such a great moment for me to be on the podium once again," said Zabel.

"For me and my team the 2000 Tour was a great Tour - though I was hoping to get a win on the Champs Elysees."

Most of the Tour riders will now concentrate on the Sydney Olympic events in September, where their trade team rivalries are transformed into national squads.

"It's special to ride for your country," said Armstrong. "Winning gold is a big objective."

The attitude towards the individual time trial - and another duel with Ullrich - is in stark contrast to last year when the Texan finished racing after the Tour.

"I had no motivation to ride again that year, but today I feel like I'm ready to go for it."

See also:

21 Jul 00 | Tour de France
23 Jul 00 | Tour de France
23 Jul 00 | Tour de France
23 Jul 00 | Tour de France
23 Jul 00 | Tour de France
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