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Easiest Rider

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Early in this year’s Tour de France, Lance Armstrong’s wife, Kristin, informed him that his daughter Isabelle, 8 months, had begun to crawl. For Armstrong, 30, that was a triumph as stunning as any he had known. Just six years ago, as he battled testicular cancer that had spread to his brain, it seemed unlikely he would live to have children, let alone compete in a 2,036-mile, 20-day race over two mountain ranges. So on the eve of winning his fourth consecutive Tour on July 28, the phenom from Plano, Texas, couldn’t help boasting a bit. “There’s never been a Tour de France victory by a cancer survivor before me,” he told reporters. “That’s what I’d like to be remembered for.” If he wins the next two Tours, as is his intention, he’ll also be remembered as the first cyclist to do so six times. Then, he said, he plans to watch the action from “the beach with my kids, having a cool beer.” That’s hardly soon enough for British competitor David Millar, who spoke for many when he explained to the BBC why he had yet to make his mark: “I’m waiting for Armstrong to retire.”