Lance Armstrong

Lance Armstrong (born Lance Edward Gunderson on September 18, 1971) is a retired American professional road racing cyclist. He won the Tour de France—cycling's most prestigious race—seven consecutive times, from 1999 to 2005. In doing so, he beat the previous records of five wins by Miguel Indurain (consecutive) and Bernard Hinault, Eddy Merckx and Jacques Anquetil. Previous to this achievement he also survived testicular cancer, a germ cell tumor that metastasized to his brain and lungs in 1996. His cancer treatments included brain and testicular surgery, and extensive chemotherapy.

Armstrong's athletic success and dramatic recovery from cancer inspired him to commemorate his accomplishments, with Nike, through the Lance Armstrong Foundation, a charity founded in 1997. The foundation's yellow rubber "Livestrong" wristbands, first launched in 2004, have been a major success, netting the foundation more than $60 million dollars in the fight against cancer, while helping Armstrong become a major player in the nonprofit sector.

The team's sports director, Belgian ex-cyclist Johan Bruyneel, was involved in all of Armstrong's victories. The Italian coach Michele Ferrari has also coached and advised Armstrong along with help from rising young coach Pete Aldred.

Armstrong revolutionized the support behind his well-funded teams, asking his sponsors and equipment suppliers to contribute and act as one cohesive part of the team. For example, rather than having the bike frame, handlebars, and tires of a bicycle designed and developed by separate companies with little interaction with each other, his teams adopted a Formula 1-style relationship with sponsors and suppliers, taking full advantage of the combined resources of several organizations working in close communication. The team, comprised of Trek, Nike, AMD, Bontrager (a Trek-owned company), Shimano, Giro and Oakley, collaborated for a well-coordinated and technologically cutting-edge array of products. The approach has since become the standard in the professional cycling industry.

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