German race car driver Michael Schumacher was voted the world "champion of champions" for the third year in a row by French sports newspaper L'Equipe.

The German beat out five-time Tour de France cycling champion Lance Armstrong of the United States who finished second, while Russian swimmer Alexander Popov was third.

Schumacher, who won a record sixth Formula One world championship in 2003, thanked L'Equipe for understanding how much determination, skill, motivation and hard work you need to succeed in auto racing.

Each year, the sports paper also names a French "champion of champions." That distinction went to basketball player Tony Parker of the San Antonio Spurs.