Lance Armstrong retires from professional cycling

February 17th, 2011 - 12:01 pm ICT by ANI  

Auckland, Feb 17(ANI): American road racing cyclist Lance Armstrong, who is best known for winning the Tour de France a record seven consecutive times after having survived testicular cancer, has announced his retirement.

The 39-year-old, who made a comeback to cycling two years ago, said that he was quitting for good to spend more time with his family and his charities.

“I am announcing my retirement from professional cycling in order to devote myself full-time to my family, to the fight against cancer and to leading the foundation I established before I won my first Tour de France,” quoted Armstrong, as saying in a statement.

“My focus now is raising my five children, promoting the mission of Livestrong, and growing entrepreneurial ventures with our great corporate partners in the fight against cancer,” he added.

Armstrong had initially retired from cycling in July 2005, at the end of the 2005 Tour de France, but returned in January 2009, and finished third in the 2009 Tour de France.

His final race was at the Tour Down Under in Australia last month.

In October 1996, Armstrong was diagnosed with testicular cancer, with a tumor that had metastasized to his brain and lungs.

His cancer treatments included brain and testicular surgery and extensive chemotherapy, and his prognosis was originally poor.

He went on to win the Tour de France each year from 1999 to 2005, and is the only person to win seven times, having broken the previous record of five wins, shared by Miguel Indurain, Bernard Hinault, Eddy Merckx, and Jacques Anquetil.

In 1999, he was named the ABC Wide World of Sports Athlete of the Year, won the Prince of Asturias Award in Sports in 2000, and in 2002, Sports Illustrated magazine had named him Sportsman of the Year.

He was also named Associated Press Male Athlete of the Year for the years 2002-2005.

He received ESPN’s ESPY Award for Best Male Athlete in 2003, 2004, 2005, and 2006, and won the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Overseas Personality Award in 2003. (ANI)

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