Cycling and cancer ambassador Lance Armstrong finished his last Tour de France on Sunday. While hoping for a better show, the professional cyclist was plagued by crashes and flat tires at key stages that cost him his top 5 standing that he held in the beginning of the race. The 7 time Tour winner and cancer survivor himself has brought much attention to the sport of cycling and to the fight against cancer.
Armstrong came out of retirement to compete last year and this year to bring attention to his cancer awareness foundation Livestrong. In the course of his career he has helped raise over $235 million in funds for cancer research. Media and tourists flock to attend events that he races in including the Tour. The number of people that show up when he races is considerably higher than the few years he was retired before returning to professional cycling.
For the final day of the Tour, Armstrong and his Team Radio Shack all donned racing kits in the official colors of Livestrong, black and yellow. In addition the team sported a large 28 on the backs of their shirts. The 28 represented the 28 million people in the world currently dealing with cancer. Armstrong and the team had hoped to bring attention to the Livestrong foundation and attention to the ever growing problem of cancer in the world. They got much more attention than they could have hoped when planning the new race kit for the last day.
Tour officials denied the team the opportunity to wear the team’s new number 28 jackets and required they change back into their regular Team Radio Shack racing gear. The team complied by putting their Team Radio Shack jackets over top of the new ones. Officials were not satisfied and demanded that they remove the new ones and affix their numbers to the old ones. The team complied and the peloton held up starting for 18 minutes to await Team Radio Shack. In the end the tour officials helped bring more attention to the new race kit than they would have had otherwise.
Team Radio Shack took the win for team category in the Tour which gave Armstrong another chance to stand upon the podium for his last Tour. For the presentation the team changed back into their Livestrong black and yellow racing kits.
The tour winner was Alberto Contador who had controversy during the Tour for attacking against his top competitor during a mechanical failure and overtaking the yellow jersey. The Tour proved exciting with a stage over cobblestones this year, numerous crashes, controversies, a quick fist fight, and of course the last ride of a highly regarded Champion of both the Tour and cancer survivors and cancer fighters the world over.