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Lance Armstrong Wins 5th Consecutive Tour de France - 2003-07-27


American Lance Armstrong has entered the record books as only the second cyclist to win the Tour de France five times in a row.

In the 100-year history of cycling's premier event, only Miguel Indurain of Spain in the 1990s won five in a row. The others with five Tour de France victories, but not in succession, are Frenchmen Jacques Anquetil and Bernard Hinault and Belgian Eddy Merckx.

Fans that gathered in huge numbers for Sunday's finish here down the Champs Elysees knew they had witnessed something special, even before this announcement was made.

Unlike his previous four triumphs, this time Lance Armstrong was seriously tested by talented German cyclist Jan Ullrich, who won the 1997 Tour de France and was runner-up for the fifth time. But the margin after three weeks and nearly 35 kilometers of racing was only 61 seconds.

Armstrong said this was his most difficult Tour. "Tiring but excellent," he told a reporter. "It was tough. And when it's close and tough it feels better in the end."

Sunday's 20th and final stage win, covering 152 kilometers, went to French cyclist Jean-Patrick Nazon who outsprinted a large pack. But it's American Lance Armstrong who is once again the champion.

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