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By VeloNews Interactive
The 14th Annual VeloNews Awards issue hits the streets this week featuring three-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong as the VeloNews International Cyclist of the Year. This is the second consecutive year the U.S. Postal Service rider has won VeloNews’s top honor, making him just the second athlete to win the award twice. Past winners of the award, which started in 1988, include Greg LeMond (1989), Miguel Indurain (’92, ’94) and Juli Furtado (’93).
To reach his new point of excellence and win his third consecutive Tour de France, Armstrong worked harder than ever during the winter. He continued to perfect his climbing style and added stretching and abdominal exercises to his daily regimen. Add to that the benefits of using an altitude tent, and Lance Armstrong, at age 29, was as physically strong as any Tour winner has ever been.
To win three Tours in a row is one of the most difficult feats in sports, one achieved previously by only Induráin, Eddy Merckx, Jacques Anquetil and Louison Bobet. Armstrong joined those four European cycling legends in a near-perfect performance. The Texan also became the first rider since Fausto Coppi in 1952 to win at L’Alpe d’Huez and go on to win the Tour.
VeloNews’s North American male and female riders of the year will be revealed here on Wednesday. For more on Lance Armstrong and all the other winners of the 14th annual VeloNews Awards, check out the December 17 issue of VeloNews.
INTERNATIONAL CYCLIST OF THE YEAR FINALISTS:
Erik ZabelPREVIOUS WINNERS
Lance Armstrong (2000)
Anne-Caroline Chausson (1999)
Marco Pantani (1998)
Paolo Pezzo (1997)
Alison Sydor (1996)
Laurent Jalabert (1995)
Miguel Induráin (1994 and 1992)
Juli Furtado (1993)
Gianni Bugno (1991)
Ned Overend (1990)
Greg LeMond (1989)
Steve Bauer (1988)