Outside magazine, November 1995
At the U.S. Cycling Federation's glitzy Night of Champions last year in Hollywood, Lance Armstrong was introduced as the best one-day classics rider that America has ever produced. To some, that seemed a bit premature, since the 23-year-old Armstrong hadn't actually won a classic yet. Well, after several prominent near misses, the Motorola team leader recorded number one last August at Spain's Clasica San Sebastián-San Sebastián. The victory, the first ever by an American rider in a European classic, doesn't carry the prestige of a spring classic win at, say, Paris-Roubaix, but it had special meaning for Armstrong. He began his professional career at the same 147-mile contest three years ago--finishing dead last and nearly quitting the sport. This year the Texan was the only one of five riders to respond to Stefano Della Santa's attack on the final hill outside San Sebastián, blowing past him with about 300 yards to go.