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Last Updated: Sunday, 14 December, 2003, 21:21 GMT
Armstrong picks up overseas title
LANCE ARMSTRONG
Lance Armstrong
Date of birth: 18/9/71
Nationality: American
Tour de France wins: 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003
Lance Armstrong has won the coveted title of BBC Overseas Sports Personality of the Year.

The 32-year-old joined an elite list of cycling legends when he picked up his fifth Tour de France title this year.

His efforts are all the more remarkable considering his battle with testicular cancer.

The American was diagnosed with the illness in October 1996 after rocketing to the top of the cycling world rankings.

Armstrong's chances of beating the cancer were less than 50/50, but intensive chemotherapy along with immense willpower helped him win the fight.

Since then he has gone from strength to strength.

I'd really like to thank the BBC - this is incredible
Lance Armstrong

In 1998 he made his official comeback to the sport and came a remarkable fourth overall at the World Championships in Holland.

But arguably his greatest moment since battling back from cancer took place on the roads and mountains of France a year later.

He won Le Tour by seven minutes and also the hearts of fans.

But Armstrong was not happy with just the one win.

Over the next three years, the Texan had no equal in the event, winning the title in a more impressive manner on each occasion.

And in 2003 the US Postal rider joined Eddy Merckx, Jacques Anquetil, Bernard Hinault and Miguel Indurain by winning a fifth title.

Having now also added the BBC award, Armstrong is looking to re-write the record books by picking up a sixth Tour de France title next year and also Olympic gold in Athens.

After winning most of battles he has faced, it is unlikely that many people will bet against him.




SEE ALSO
Armstrong sets double goal
12 Dec 03  |  Cycling


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