Lance Armstrong is an American road racing cyclist. He has created a record by winning the Tour de France for seven consecutive years from 1999 to 2005. He was born in Plano, Texas, on September 18, 1971.
He began as a triathlete and started winning adult competitions at the age of 13. He became a professional triathlete at 16 and national sprint course champion in 1989 and 1990.
He realized that he was better suited for bicycle racing and took to that sport. He won the US amateur championship in 1991. He won 10 one-day events in 1993 and became world number one. He became one of the youngest riders to win the world road race championship. His attributes include large heart which is 30 percent larger than average, and low lactate level. During intense training, the lactate levels of most races are in the range of 12 to 20 μL/kg while Armstrong has a level of 6 μL/kg.
He was diagnosed with nonseminoma testicular cancer in 1996. The nonseminoma testicular cancer is an aggressive type of cancer and is known to spread very fast to different parts of the body. The cancer had already spread to his lungs, abdomen and brain. He had to undergo brain surgery in addition to the removal of his diseased testicle. He chose the alternative chemotherapy regime VIP instead of the standard regime BEP to avoid lung toxicity associated with drug Bleomycin, part of the regime BEP. He was given a survival chance of 50 percent after the surgery.
He has set up Lance Armstrong Foundation to support people affected by cancer. He along with several other sports personalities such as Andre Agassi and Muhammad Ali have founded Athletes for Hope, a charity to help professional athletes to get involved in charitable causes.
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