Cycling: Lance, the Return

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Outside magazine, June 1995

Cycling: Lance, the Return
By Todd Balf (with Martin Dugard and Alison Osius)

With team expectations escalating and his own patience wearing thin, American cyclist Lance Armstrong finally broke through last March with his first European victory in 18 months. His sprint win over Thierry Bourgignion during the fifth stage of the Paris-Nice race wasn’t important in itself, but it did bode well for Armstrong’s stated goals for 1995: a win of a one-day
classic (never achieved by an American rider) and a “strong” showing in the Tour de France. The latter is becoming a bit of an obsession, says Rupert Guinness, a veteran European cycling correspondent. “He’s definitely a little sensitive about the fact that he hasn’t finished a Tour yet,” says Guinness. And while the 23-year-old Armstrong’s return to the podium was probably just a
matter of time, even bigger news on the comeback front concerned Frenchman Laurent Jalabert. Having suffered a career-threatening crash in last year’s Tour de France, the Team ONCE rider looked anything but banged-up, winning Paris-Nice and Italy’s Milan-San Remo, the first major classic.

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