Nationality: United States
Tour wins: 1999-2005 inclusive
Lance Armstrong dominated the Tour de France for seven years between 1999-2005 with an unprecedented seven consecutive race wins.
A fierce competitor whose influence continues to be felt throughout the Tour de France, his era boosted the popularity of the event around the globe, but particularly in his native United States.
Armstrong is the only rider to have won the Tour de France seven times. Tour legends Miguel Indurain, Bernard Hinault, Eddy Merckx and Jacques Anquetil won five.
Armstrong's aggression and determination carried him to seven victories and he is regarded by some as the greatest road cyclist of all time.
There are many layers to the Armstrong story. In 1996, at the age of 25, Armstrong was given less than a 50 per cent chance of survival by doctors after testicular cancer was found to have spread to his lungs and brain.
Armstrong himself remains convinced that the weight loss he endured through illness and chemotherapy enabled him to become a Tour de France winner.
Before cancer he was too heavy to haul himself over the tallest mountains in Europe with the best climbers in the world.
As he became a multiple Tour de France winner, his influence began to be felt far beyong the world of cycling.
A best selling book which recounted his battle with cancer, the Lance Armstrong Foundation (and those yellow LiveStrong wristbands) creating a brand which is recognisable to sports fans around the world.
In tandem with Johann Bruyneel Armstrong and his combative, fearsome US Postal team flattened the opposition in seven Tours de France.
Following a three-year retirement from cycling after his seventh Tour win, the man often dubbed the "brash Texan" couldn't resist the urge to race again.
His public duel with Astana team-mate Alberto Contador in 2009 provided a satisfying twist: before the race Armstrong claimed he was willing to support the Spaniard's bid for victory.
But to no-one's great surprise that all changed during the race when Armstrong gained a slender advantage on a flat stage and soon declared war on his own team-mate.
In May 2010 disgraced rider and former US Postal team-mate Floyd Landis went public with accusations that Armstrong and other members of the team - including Mark Cavendish's former HTC-Highroad colleague George Hincapie - were guilty of doping.
Armstrong has categorically denied the allegations, and continues to do so. A Federal investigation into the affair rumbles on behind closed doors in the United States.
Even Armstrong's loyal domestique Hincapie has recently been rumoured to have testified against him. Hincapie in turn has denied this.
The interest and the speculation in that case will no doubt continue. Regardless of that or any other consideration, there is no doubt that Armstrong is one of the greatest cyclists ever ridden a bike.
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