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  Sunday, 28 July, 2002, 17:16 GMT 18:16 UK
High praise for Armstrong
Lance Armstrong (right) with Laurent Jalabert
Two champions: Jalabert (left) and Armstrong (right)

Lance Armstrong received special praise on Sunday as he became the first American to win the Tour de France four times.

The 30-year-old surpassed compatriot Greg LeMond - who won three Tours - and was invited to visit US President George W Bush in Washington DC.

"He's a nice guy, a Texan like me," said Armstrong of Bush after being crowned overall champion on the Champs Elysees in Paris.

Robbie McEwen wins the final stage of this year's Tour de France
Good in green: McEwen

"He told me to come and see him at the White House."

Armstrong, who recovered from near-fatal cancer to win his first Tour in 1999, has been appointed a member of a presidential commission on the disease.

And he admitted that this victory had been hard won.

"It's been a difficult race, particularly in the mountains. I'm glad it's over."

The yellow-jersey winner was joined on the podium by his young children, while King of the Mountains Laurent Jalabert also invited up his three children, all dressed in polka dots.

"I had a fantastic Tour. I'm really lucky to have finished on the podium," said Jalabert, who retires at the end of the season after a very successful career.

The popular Frenchman won a stage at this year's Tour and earned the combativity award for his constant aggression.

Sunday's other big winner, green-jersey clad Robbie McEwen, paid tribute to his Lotto team after they helped him to depose six-times points champion Erik Zabel.

"It's a magnificent day and my thanks go out to the team mechanics, the soigneurs, the team manager - everybody.

"Winning two stages and the green jersey, I can't believe it."

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