30 for 30 (2009–…): Season 3, Episode 37 - Lance Part 1 - full transcript

When my life took the turn

that it took,

I said to myself, "Everywhere

that I go for the rest of my

life, somebody is gonna walk

up to me and say...you.'"

And so a couple of days go by

and nobody said...you."

And then months go by and years

go by, and I'm like...

I always know when somebody

wants to say...you,"

but nobody does.

Nobody ever does.

So it took five years.

I was staying in this

rental house, called an Uber.

He pulls up on the other side

of the street

right in front of the bar.

We cross the street

and this guy stands up,

and he says, "Hey, Lance."

And I'm like, "What's up, man?"

And he goes...you!

...you! ...you! ...you!"

And the next thing you know --

he's with like six or seven

people -- they all stand up

and start going...you!

...you! ...you!

You...cheater! ...you!"

My friend says, "Get in the car

right now," 'cause she's

thinking, "He's about to walk

over there and punch

the...out of this guy,"

which would have been obviously

a really bad idea.

And I would have done

that most of my life.

I was shocked and I was mad,

and I was like,

"I have to do something.

I have to act. I'm me.

Me, Lance Armstrong,

doesn't just let...like that

happen and not do something."

Call the bar.

"Here's my credit card number.

Whatever they're eating,

whatever they're drinking --

I don't care what it is,

how much it is, how expensive --

it's on me, under one

condition -- You have to go out

there and say, 'Guys, Lance

took care of everything,

and he sends his love.'"

I said, "Make sure you tell them

that I send my love."

Some people just can't chill


They're pissed still,

and they will be pissed forever.

He does evoke a strong


Positive or negative.

He is a person that gets

into people's heads.

And he knows that.

He likes that.

It's just

the core of his identity

that he's able to do that.

The talk out there is that

this is basically something to

feature Lance Armstrong's effort

to resurrect his reputation,

and that yours is going to be

a fairly sympathetic portrayal.

It would be hard for me

to believe that Lance won't try

to shape any narrative

about him, including yours,

including anyone he deals with.

I'm not gonna lie to you,

Marina, I'm not.

And I'm not saying

that they will.

But I'm gonna tell you my truth,

and my truth is not my version.

My truth is the way

I remember it.

This case with the postal

qui tam case, there are really

three parties, right?

There's me, there's

the government and then there's

the whistleblower,

which is Floyd Landis.

So, in order for the deal

to go away or a deal to be made,

all parties have to agree.

So we have agreed

and settled with the government.

You know, they started

eight years ago

for 100 million bucks, and, you

know, and we settled it for


So it's still a lot of money,

but I avoid the nuclear option.

Which is?

Well, which is potentially

$100 million,

which is a number I don't have.

You know, each side has

to be willing to make a decision

they don't want to make.

I went above and beyond that,

and at some point

you just have to stop.

Why would you not want

to go to trial?

It's funny.

Like, if -- it sounds --

and it sounds stupid because

if you believe in your case,

you believe in your case

and you think it's 100%.

But they literally handicap

these things.

Like, okay, if they want

$100 million, and there's a 10%

chance you lose,

then you should be willing to

give them $10 million.

They handicap it like that.

So was there a 5% chance that I

was gonna lose and get smoked?

I mean, probably.


So, yeah.

I never would've imagined I

would've settled for that, but

I'm happy that I did.

So basically, what it means

is we won't spend

the month of May here.

So I just got -- I just got

a month of my life back...

for $5 million.

[ Chuckles ]

The first time you

ever doped, how old were you?

[ Clears throat ] Wow.

Straight into that.

[ Chuckles ]

The first time

you ever doped?

Oh, this is a sensitive



[ Sighs ]

You're gonna go there,

right from the gun?

[ Chuckles ]


I had started doping,

not extensively, but I had

started doping by 1996.

So I kind of got introduced

to it from -- indirectly from a


I knew it was either like

join the club or go home

and like finish school

and go get a real job.

There's a bunch of ways

to define doping.

The easiest way to define

it is breaking the rules.

Right, so were we getting

injections of vitamins

and other things

like that at an earlier age?

Yes, but they weren't illegal.

So that, you know...

But did you know?

Know what?

What was in those in --

Oh, of course.

Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah. Come on.

I'm not one of those guys.

I was like, "Ooh.

What do we have here?"

I always asked, I always knew

and I always made the decision

on my own.

Nobody said, "Don't ask.

This is what you're getting."

I never, ever would have gone

for that.

I educated myself on what was

being given,

and I chose to do it.

[ Rain falling ]

As a kid in Texas, you start

with all the sports

that everybody starts with --

with football, baseball,

basketball, soccer.

I just wasn't good.

I wasn't coordinated, I'm

not -- I don't have great

hand-eye coordination, I'm not


My mom said to me, "Why don't

you join the swim team?"

And I was like,

"Well, I don't know how to swim"

and 12 is late

to join the swim team.

I had to swim

with the 6-year-olds.

It was awful.

It was -- It was just -- It was


I cannot believe

that I hung in there.

I just didn't quit.

And I never wanted to quit.

I never came home like,

"Mom, this is embarrassing.

I'm swimming with 7-year-olds.

I'm 12."

If I do quit, then I don't

start doing triathlons

and I don't get on a bike.

I caught on quickly,

so I just kept moving up.

It seemed like it was every week

I was moving a lane over,

moving a lane over.

Until eventually I was,

you know --

Well, then eventually

at the age of 14, then I was --

I don't know -- I got like third

at the Texas championships

in the mile.

I think he was 14 years old,

and I met him at the swimming

pool in Plano, Texas.

We were in town for a big pro

race, so we just found this

pool -- it was kind of random --

and there's this little guy.

He jumped in our lane

and was just looking at us

the whole day, and then after

we got done with our workout,

he was just hanging around

and checking us out

and asking questions.

I mean, you couldn't --

he wouldn't be denied.

In the water, it was


He would just swim away from me.

He was an amazing swimmer.

Not a pretty swimmer -- a lot of

water flying everywhere.

But he was just really strong.

[ Water splashing ]

Did Higgs tell you about this

crazy thing we're doing up

in Seattle there?

September 23rd?


It sounds amazing.


Really? What is it?

I've never done it,

but it's like a swim run.

But you have to swim

with your running shoes,

run with your wet suit.


Like four miles of swimming,

20 miles of running.


That's why

we're here right now.

So we'd been training

together almost a year.

The President's Triathlon

at the time was a big event.

A lot of money,

big invitational.

So I knew the promoter,

and I just said, "Hey, I've got

this kid that I'm working with,

and he's 15.

I know that sounds ridiculous,

but I would really like him

to start the pro race."

And this is the first time

I've raced against Lance in a

race where we start together.

I never saw him.

Out of the water way ahead of

me, and then the story is --

of course, I'm not there,

I'm behind, but I'm hearing

all this stuff -- it's like

he gets out of the water

with the front guys.

They were all looking

at me going, "What

is this kid doing here?

Why is he coming

out of the water ahead of me?"

He's like talking to them,

and they're like going, "Go


And I'm hearing these stories,

and at the end of the day,

like, he ended up leading

this race at one point.

Like, he started -- I think

he started the run out front

by a long ways.

And this is a 15-year-old kid

with the best triathletes

in the world.

And it's so funny because

I believe it was Mark Allen

that won that race.

It was Lance on television.

It was Lance

getting the interviews.

He was the story.

His life was never the same

after that.

I like going out on

the weekends and having fun

with my friends.

And I like girls, too.

[ Chuckles ]

Even from an early age, he

had that very A-type


It was full throttle

all the time.

If we went to go do something

it was -- he had to just do it

better or crazier.

If we lit one firecracker, he

had to light 100 firecrackers.

It was just that constant --

that constant push at all times.

Four-point range.


for the three-pointer.

That's what made it, I think,

hard for a parent

is at an early age he had

an idea of where he wanted to go

and what he was gonna do,

and there was no stopping that.

When you're competing

on a professional level

with the pros,

you've got competition.

And Lance is a very driven

person, and he loves challenges.

She always believed

I could do anything.

She wasn't a real disciplinarian


I mean, I sort of did

whatever I wanted to do, which

is a miracle I'm not, like, a

mass murderer at this point.

But she was -- and she was

young, I mean, we know that --

everybody knows she was young.

I was this young, young girl

growing up in Texas.

Drill team, homecoming princess

and this and that.

And I'm 16 years old,

and I get pregnant.

Not something your mom

wants to hear about,

but truly this was my salvation.

And I gave birth

to this 9-pound, 12-ounce --

almost 10-pound baby boy.

Came the day he was due

when I was 17 years old.

Golly darn, he was so cute!

If you think about having me

at 17, we really grew up


When I was 5, she was 22.

So, and, you know,

when I was 20, she was 37.

I didn't know anything about

my biological father.

I mean, he -- I knew his name.

His name was Eddie Gunderson.

But if somebody would have said

to me, "Where does he live?"

I would have said,

"I don't know."

And I didn't want to know.

Not in a mean way, but I just --

I wasn't interested.

He chose to leave our lives

and he never tried

to come back into the lives.

The marriage ended quickly.

It was an abusive

relationship, and again,

it was just one of those

situations that for the good

of my son and myself

I needed to move on.

I had a date with Linda.

I picked her up at her

apartment, and we went out to


And we came home,

and here was this little boy.

I saw the picture in my mind

of a family ready to go.

I adopted Lance when, I believe,

he was 3 years old.

That's why Lance's last name

is Armstrong, because when you

adopt somebody, they change

the birth certificate.

So my name is on his birth

certificate as the father.

As I was growing up,

she was married twice.

And they were -- You know,

they were okay guys.

I mean, they were --

they were not terrible.

Terry Armstrong might have been

kind of terrible.

I mean, you talk

about disciplinarian --

I mean, if I left --

if he said, "Don't leave your

drawer open or you're gonna

be in trouble," and sure enough

I would leave a drawer open,

and he would pull out his

fraternity paddle and just beat

the...out of me.

It's like, if I did that, I

mean, my kids would be getting

spanked every minute of every


Like, who cares

if the...drawer is open?

I was tough on him as far

as cleaning his room up

and, you know, being orderly.

And Linda was always there

when I -- when I did it.

It wasn't a belt.

There wasn't hitting him.

It was just bend over

and take your licks.

That came from five years

in a military school.

Very regimented.

So I was kind of by-the-book.

The failure of my bringing up

Lance...I was the taskmaster,

but I didn't put my arms around

him enough and tell him I loved


I was always there,

always coaching him,

always pushing him,

but I didn't show him the love

that I should have.

Lance would not be the champion

he is today without me,

'cause I drove him.

I drove him like an animal.

That's the only thing

I feel bad about --

did I make him too much


They were sort of done

when I was around 15,

which was great and fine

and then it was back to me

and my mom.

I would always think about

changing my name back to --

I guess my biological name.

But I never even began to start

that process, so it couldn't

have been that serious.

And then at some point

it's too late, you know, because

by the age of 15, you know,

I was already establishing

myself and my career and "brand"

or whatever that means,

and so then it was too late.

Plus it's a good name.

I like the name.

Lance Armstrong.

I think that's a good name.

It's better

than Lance Gunderson.

That's kind of a weird name.

A lot of these races in

the Texas or in the Southwest,

you had to be minimum age

to do a triathlon,

you had to be 16.

So we'd forge my birth


I understand the reason

for the certain age requirements

because there's

a lot of liabilities,

they were gonna swim

in a lake and this and that.

But it meant so much to him.

Get in, just enter and then

kick their ass.

Like, just win.

So forge the birth certificate,

compete illegally

and beat everybody.

That bully thing that has

come up a lot in the rhetoric

about him over the years,

I mean, I saw that from day one.

Bermuda was the biggest

race in the world.

Ridiculous prize list.

Everybody was flown in.

All the top triathletes

were flown in.

I rented him a scooter.

My credit card.

"This is how you get around.

This will be fun

if you want to go somewhere."

Well, he abused the scooter

pretty bad.

He didn't take care of it.

He didn't bring it back

when he should have.

"Well, man, don't worry about


Just don't worry about it."

Like he's actually saying,

"I can beat you, so there's

nothing more you can do for me."

And then I remember having

a hard time with Linda on that.

It's like, "Okay, Linda, take

him to Bermuda, he's breaking

stuff, he takes no

responsibility for anything and

then he's mouthy and


And she's like, "Well, you don't

have any authority over him."

I'm like, "You're the one

that sent me there

to be his chaperone."

So I kind of got flicked

at that point, and that stung.

That stung a lot.

I was the hot shot junior,

the poster boy of USA Cycling.

We were at the Olympic training

center, and we started hearing

stories about these two kids

from Plano, Texas, that were


And I hear all these stories

about this one kid

in particular named Lance.

And I'm like, "Okay, how good

could this guy be?"

Of course the coach pairs me

with Lance for a 10-minute,

two-man time trial,

which is basically two guys

swapping off as hard

as you can go five minutes

down the road,

five minutes up the road.

First segment was a tailwind.

So we were going quite fast,

and I wasn't impressed.

I was like, "This is the guy

that they're talking about?"

I was just like,

"Okay, you know,

this was a lot of talk."

But as soon as we turned

around into the headwind,

which is much harder,

he started taking these pulls,

and I was, like,

absolutely on the rivet.

I was faking it

as good as I could,

but when the horn

was sounded from behind

and I'm just relieved

that it's over,

and he starts yelling at me,

"Come on, you...

Let's keep going.

Let's keep going.

I'm not done yet."

I can barely stay on my bike now

and this kid is basically

just warming up.

And you realize right then

and there -- This kid

is a totally different level.

And I just happened to meet

the strongest cyclist

maybe of all time

when I was 17 years old.

[ Laughs ]

I don't -- I don't --

I don't remember,

but that's entirely possible.

I might have called him a...

but we're buddies now.

But he wasn't -- he wasn't a --

He was a whiner,

but he wasn't a...

I did one of the first races,

bike races, pure bike races

that he ever did.

And we didn't know who he was.

I didn't know

what he looked like.

I didn't even know he was there

at that race.

I'd kind of heard a little bit

about the legend.

Right from the first 10 feet

of the race we were full blast.

I mean, we were going 35 miles

an hour before, you know,

before I'd even warmed up.

As we were in

the first miles of the race

and we were going twice

the speed that we would have

normally at that section of

road -- Bobby

was my buddy back then.

And, you know, I rode up

to Bobby and I'm like, "What is

going on?"

And, you know, he screamed back,

and he was like, "That's Lance!"

And, you know,

and that's sort of in a way

how I was introduced to Lance --

as in that Bobby -- you know,

Bobby said, "That's the guy

you've been hearing about.

That's why we're going so fast."


Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa.

[ Engine starts ]


Well, I graduated high school

at 17 and then left right away.

And came here or not?

Drove -- Drove --

Loaded up a U-haul and drove


I was just making the transition

then to full-time cycling.

So no more tris, no more

swimming, no more running.

From a very young age,

even on a little BMX bike

I enjoyed the escape

of being on a bike.

I was just gonna give it a go

and see what happened.

I got my first -- I guess 1990

was like my first contract

with a cycling team.

I made $18,000 a year.

$1,500 a month.

My rent was $300.

I was like, "I'm...loaded.

I'm loaded."

I was saving money.

And then I think the next year

I made like $24,000.

$2,000 a month.

Then I got recruited away

to go to Motorola, which was

a big professional team.

And then it was sort of

off to the races.

No pun intended.

When I ride a bike,

I can get in a faraway place,

right, or space.

I would think about my goals

or my competition.

And if it was an intense day,

I'd have to -- In my mind,

I would have to

make up these little rivalries,

even if they didn't exist.

I'd just get my hate on.

But then also think about plans.

I would think about making plans

or what my plan was

in my sport, my future.

Yeah, just sort of daydreaming.

How old were you

when you decided to use

an illegal doping product?

In terms of crossing the line

into something that

if you would have admitted

or could've tested positive

for, then that -- that wouldn't

have been until 21 years old.

My first professional season.

[ Indistinct conversations,

gunshot ]

Well, the gun goes and nobody

is going to be in any particular

hurry here to break away.

They're expecting the best part

of six and a half hours in the

saddle, and if these conditions

do persist, then they are going

to be very miserable indeed.

At that time in the sport,

it was cortisone

or cortisone precursors

or, you know, drugs

that stimulate your body's

own production of cortisone.

Well, the hat has gone

in the pocket.

It's come down to very serious

stuff now by the 21-year-old.

He won't be 22 till the end

of this year.

He's one of the youngest-ever

riders to win a world

championship at the professional

level, and the gap

is there for him now.

It is there for Lance Armstrong,

and surely that's big enough.

Now he's looking back and seeing

nobody as he becomes champion

of the world.

Lance Armstrong, 21 years of

age, is America's second only

world road race champion.

I remember sitting

with people in the stands

and they're like,

"Who is this kid

Lance Armstrong?"

Lance, you can't believe it

what you've done?

I can't believe it.

On the last hill,

I looked at my computer and

said, "Maybe there's still one

lap to go," but...

That really kind of opened

the doors

and changed the next phase

of his cycling career.

He rides the roads of Texas

virtually unnoticed, but

Lance Armstrong went anything

but unnoticed in the cycling

world during 1993.

This outspoken 22-year-old

has not won

any popularity contest,

a fact not lost

on the Motorola rider.

The bottom line

is I'm a competitor

and I still like training hard

and going out and kicking ass.

I like that.

And I got a lot more ass to

kick, so...

I mean, in that sense,

I have to look forward to that.

I have to look forward

to going back to Europe

and doing the big races

and winning.

Look out, world.

Yeah, look out.

I mean, there's a lot of races

I haven't won.

I'm not saying I'm gonna win

every race in the world, but...

You can try.

I can try.

Good luck.

All right, man.

At the time, cycling was

a European sport.

Very European.

Not at all American.

Still not, but more.

I'm from Belgium.

Belgians, they're hard workers,

they're ambitious

to a certain point.

But not overly ambitious.

The Belgians were always

a little bit sneaky,

a little bit clever.

The Spanish

are normally very calm.

The Spaniards tend

to be modest,

humble, very unpretentious.

Italians were, and are, loud,

vain, outrageous showmen.

Then the Germans,

which are very organized

and very, like, structured.

And then you have the French.

Yeah, I have to be very careful

because I am German, but...

the French are slightly


They think they are a little

bit higher up

than everybody else because

they have the Tour de France.

And then you have the Americans.

I've never, never,

never met more weird people

than American cyclists.

And I think there's

an explanation for that, because

it's not your logical choice.

American popular sports

are basketball, football.

So, typically an American

who chooses cycling

is a guy who doesn't fit in.

So you're a kid

from suburban Dallas

living on the shore of Lake Como

surrounded by Renaissance

Italian palaces and very wealthy

Italian vacationers.

It seems kind of out of step

with where you came from.

Well, I always liked the


[ Laughter ]

No, I got real --

I mean, I -- I have had --

the team is --

most of the team lives in Como.

So we've sort of adjusted there

real nicely.

We race on that continent

90% of the time.

I have to live there.

It was eye opening.

I mean, I went from, you know,

being a kid, everything kind of

taking care of me to, hey,

you've got to move to Europe,

find a place to live,

figure it out.

Try to learn the language.

We had a really cool

American young network

with myself, Lance, Frankie,

Kevin Livingston, Bobby Julich.

That was nice.

We had our own little sort of

American family away from home.

Four of us were living

in a three-bedroom apartment,

so when everyone was there

I was on the couch.

And Lance had

this beautiful house on the lake

that he lived with by himself.

And you know, you're an

American, you're lonely,

you want to hang out with people

and speak your native tongue

and, you know, have fun.

Frankie was one of his

closest friends.

He was the only friend who could

tell Lance no repeatedly, tell

Lance how he was screwing up,

tell Lance how he was getting on

his nerves and he didn't have to

worry about Lance cutting him


Everybody else had to honor

the ground that he walked on.

When I was visiting,

we went out for pizza.

Lance, he was hungry, so

he wanted his food right away.

And so he started saying,

"These f'ing Italians take so

f'ing long to get the food out."

I said, "You're not in America.

This is Italy.

Eating is a little bit different


It's gonna take a while.

They understand

what you're saying."

He said, "I don't care."

I speak a few words

of Italian, but it's rough.

I mean, when you go somewhere

and you just can't get your

point across.

It's very frustrating.

In America, it's the

World Series.

In England, it's the soccer

Cup Final.

In France, it's the

Tour de France.

The emphasis is on endurance

as the world's hardiest

bicyclists travel 3,000 miles.

Mountains, rough roads

and hairpin curves

add to the hardship.

The first Tour de France

was in 1903.

It was born as like a

promotional scheme for

newspapers to get attention in

the summer.

And so the whole thing

was like concocted

as this circus at the boundary

of human performance.

At first the people that

competed at the Tour de France,

they were working in mines

and it was a dirty sport.

It was rough.

It was for people that are used

to working physically very hard.

Cycling was a

working-class sport.

People felt as though they could

really identify with the riders

because the riders were the sons

of farmers and factory workers.

The kind of people that

they would have contact with

on a daily basis.

[ Speaking French ]

[ Speaking Italian ]

The Tour de France is hard

to explain to the average


You need to see it.

You need to breathe it

and live it one time to

understand how nuts it truly is.

It's arguably the world's

most difficult athletic event.

It's 21 days, over 2,500 miles,

on some of the world's

most punishing roads.

It's like running a marathon

every day for three weeks.

The peloton can be a pretty

scary place.

The peloton is essentially

the group of cyclists

that ride a race.

It looks like an amoeba,

but it's traveling at the speed

of a high-speed train.

Riders will be within

a few millimeters of each other

and a few millimeters

of crashing.

A moment's inattention

can bring the whole thing down.

The shoulder -- Oh!

There's a crash!

He's hit a wheel and has gone


When it's game on, it's the

most intense pain and suffering.

Like, I mean, you're at

the absolute maximum and you're

in the best shape of your life.

Everyone is at the absolute


And you're going as fast

as everybody can.

And there's gonna be crashes.

Everyone knows there's going

to be crashes.

It creates nervous energy.

Like, it's just like,

"There's gonna be a crash.

Who's gonna be in it?"

There's helicopters.

There's police on motorcycles

trying to get by honking.

There's cars behind you.

Like, it's so many variables

happening at once.

It's traumatic.

[ Chuckles ]


It's such an intensely

dangerous sport.

We're going down hills

in the Alps on roads

that are five feet,

six feet wide

at 60 miles an hour in the rain,

on little tiny bikes

with very skinny wheels

and dressed in essentially

what's the equivalent

of your underwear.

Everyone is willing

to risk their life to win.

If we were seriously

concerned about our health,

then we would find

another sport.

So in that sense,

it's not a valid argument

saying that doping is dangerous

because we are risking our lives

every day anyways.

The whole idea of riding

that far over three weeks

is vaguely ridiculous,

and so to do it

at the highest level, people

have always just sought

additional help to get it done.

There was a period

in the sport

where people started to learn

that you could do things

to enhance your performance.

But this was before it was

considered to be cheating.

And there were no morals

and ethics around this.

They were still figuring it out,

and we forget that now.

And there are periods where

nobody frowned upon

taking external substances

to improve your performance.

It was not considered

to be doping.

It was just ingrained

in the culture of the sport,

you know, up until the time

that I got there from Plano,

Texas, and I was like, "Hmm."

At that time, there

was Russian rider

on this Italian team.

And he was like my age or 23

or so, and I said to him,

"Look, do you think actually

that it's really fair what

we're doing, like ethically?"

And he said, "Look, I'm 23,

I'm living in Italy,

I'm normally from Siberia

and I have two kids.

What should I do?"

Painkillers, cocaine,


People have taken every

imaginable drug during the Tour

and pushed the limits

of what's ethical

since the sport began.

The real dynamic of the race

changed when Amgen developed

synthetic erythropoietin, EPO.

That drug suddenly

increases your body's ability

to transport oxygen by raising

the red blood cell count.

The rumors of EPO

began in '93.

I mean, that plague began

in the late '80s truly.

People were scared of it.

There was all these ideas

that people were dying from it.

And then I won the world

championships in '93 somehow.

Wore the rainbow jersey

through '94.

I got my ass kicked every day.

All year long.

Wearing the world champion's


We had already been dabbling

in low-octane,

you know, whatever it was,

cortisone, whatever was around.

But EPO was a whole

nother level.

The performance benefits were

so great that the sport

went from low-octane doping,

which had always existed, to

this really high-octane

rocket fuel.

And so that was

the decision we had to make.

This Italian team

Gewiss completely dominated.

The Gewiss-Ballan team,

they had some fantastic years

from '93 to '95 and basically

won everything they touched.

People were like,

"Who the...is training

these guys?"

That was Ferrari's coming out.

[ Speaking Italian ]

EPO was like wildfire,

and we still didn't.

We refused.

Nobody on Motorola '94 made

that leap.

All the way through the year,

had no results.

'95, um...it's even crazier.

Like, it's just everywhere.

Lance Armstrong was

the last American to win

a stage in the Tour de France.

That was 1993.

Now here he is trying to get

position on Serguei Outschakov.

The gap is now 35 seconds,

and that is big enough

I would think for these two

to decide this stage

of the Tour de France together.

Armstrong is in

a developmental phase

of his career.

He's only 23.

He admits he's made

some mistakes in this Tour.

He's aware of the pressure

there is on him to excel --

some of it self-imposed.

Lance has him where he

wants him now and he's not going

to come by him again

until he goes for the gears

and gives him just about all the

speed he has left in those legs

after what has been

a tremendously long day

in the saddle

for all of the breakaway.

Outschakov is gonna ride

close to the barriers on the

left so Armstrong must come over

on his right shoulder.

Give him one way.

Armstrong now begins to make his


Outschakov goes immediately

but goes right

to the center of the road.

Armstrong holding the back wheel

of Outschakov.

Very shortly Armstrong

is going to have to kick,

but I don't think he's got it.

Outschakov has everything.

Outschakov takes it on the line.

Armstrong will be very,

very annoyed about that,

but he never had it on the line.

That was terrible.

It's just terrible.

[ Chuckles ]

I mean, I really feel bad.

I can't tell you

how disappointed I am.

I didn't --

I was out there 200 K's,

and every 200 of them,

every one of them, I thought

for sure I was gonna win.

And to get second is...

it's devastating.

I think it's a learning

experience for him here this

year, and we're on our mission

and our objective to finish the


So I don't think that

Lance is doing anything

except right now really taking

in a lot of information

and hoping to be able to use

that next year.

He hated losing

with a passion.

He couldn't if when someone

was better than him.

He couldn't stand

if someone was beating him.

He couldn't stand just not

being part of a winning team

or winning himself.

He should have been

at that point

in time progressing his career,

and instead he was regressing

in his career.

And the anger was -- you could

just feel it coming off of him.

As he called it, I think at the

moment, "There is an EPO

epidemic going on."

He's like, "These...

need to be caught.

You know, these...

need to be taken out."

Eddy Merckx had sent Axel,

his son, to go and see Ferrari,

to be trained by Ferrari.

Eddy Merckx was by general

consensus the greatest cyclist

of all time.

He won the Tour de France

five times,

he won the Giro d'Italia

five times,

he won every race you could win

in professional cycling.

I asked Eddy, I said, "Will

you introduce me to Ferrari?"

So I went there in the winter of

'95 for my first test

and then started working

with him full time in '96.

My relationship with Ferrari

was highly confidential.

As was his relationship

with everybody.

We would dread seeing Ferrari

because the first thing

he would do would be like grab

your stomach like, "Oh, you've

been eating a bit too much."

Or like, the first thing

he would do is measure your fat.

Telling you you're fat

when you, you know,

you're pretty much anorexic

is probably not the best thing

for a 24-year-old kid.

He was direct.

But it worked for me.

Whatever he said, I did.

To the word.

Ferrari was a proponent of less

is more.

Because we would ask, we'd be

like, "Oh, I heard somebody is

doing this, I heard somebody is

doing that.

And should we think about that?"

He's like, "Lance, all you need

is the red cells."

So EPO, which then

became transfusions or bags,

and that's it.

I don't have any personal

experiences with Dr. Ferrari

to point to.

I did have to deal with athletes

that Dr. Ferrari

manipulated values on.

To me, that's a continuation

of people who want to lie,

cheat and steal from others

to gain an advantage trying

to justify what they're doing.

There were clean athletes who

did not get to have experiences

because of their actions,

and I'm one of them.

I had people tell me

when I came over there,

"It's like you've got a choice.

You're gonna do it or you're


And if you're not, have

no expectation of any success

whatsoever, because you won't."

By the start of 1996,

he physically looked

like a different person.

You know, he was much lower

body fat and much --

just looked stronger.

And, you know, he was winning

or placing in every single race

he was entering and was no

longer upset about people


There's a wild-looking house

up there too.

Man, I haven't seen that.

What is that?

I'm gonna make you very


We'll grab Grace.

[ Cellphone ringing ]

This is the house that I built

in the mid-'90s.

Started in '94, moved in in '96.

Paid 200,000 bucks for the lot.


Construction contract

with pool was about $600,000.

Had it all in for less than a


I was 24 years old --

24 or 25 years old -- and all my

neighbors were like 70.

They probably thought,

"Wait, who's building that?"

When did you sell it?

In 2000.

Why did you sell it?

Uh, you know, I think it was

only three bedrooms or four

bedrooms, and we had Luke and

then when you guys were coming,

we weren't gonna have room.

Or something.

Sold it for two.

There's room for a couple

of kids in this house.

Yeah, right.

[ Laughs ]

You can go faster.


Lance left my house when he

was 17 years old and grew up.

He was out of the country

90% of the time.

When he was home,

that was off-season.

I was running one of the more

popular bars in Austin.

If you wanted to get into my

bar, you had to wait in line.

We had a line

wrapped around the corner.

But if you wanted to get in

without waiting in line,

you needed to know me.

So I knew almost every girl

in town

that wanted to get into my bar.

Lance was not very well known.

I mean, they knew, like, "I

think that's the cyclist guy."

So Lance just thought, "Oh, my

God, this guy knows every girl."

Our day consisted of wake up in

the morning, go for a bike ride,

go have some lunch.

I had a ski boat.

We would go out on the boat.

I'd call a few girls.

They'd come join us in the boat.

We'd ski.

I'd come home,

I'd take a nap for a little bit,

I'd go to work,

Lance would come in the bar,

hang out, I'd introduce him

to a lot of people,

wake up the next day

and just do it all over again.

Every day.

It couldn't get any better.

One day we're out on a bike ride

and he told me about this pain

in his testicle, which was not a

comfortable conversation that

you want to have with your


Not only big,

but just...hurt.

Like to the touch, to --

if -- if you just --

any -- sitting on the bike.

It just -- And I'm like --

I'm like, "Jesus, is this

what -- I mean, is it because

I'm -- is it because

I sit on a bike all day long?"

Today was supposed to be

Lance Armstrong's day

at the Tour de France.

Instead, the Austinite

has called it quits.

He's feeling so bad, he thinks

he might have bronchitis.

When I came home in September

after the season,

then the symptoms got a little

more serious.

Even then I ignored them.

Until the day

that I started to cough.

Blood everywhere.

And I kept coughing and more

blood, coughing, more blood.

It's just everywhere.

It looked like a crime scene.

And so I called my neighbor.

He's like, "All right.

We're going to the doctor."

However long it takes them

to print out an X-ray, minutes.

He just -- three or four of them

up there and he says, "You have

advanced testicular cancer."

And I mean, it is just -- the

chest, both sides, both lungs --

just littered -- golf balls.

I was like, "Whoa, whoa.

Whoa, whoa. whoa. Stop.

Time out. Hang on. Are you --

I mean, I know I see this,

but are you sure, like..."

And he said, "I'm so sure,

I've scheduled surgery

for 7:00 a.m. tomorrow morning."

And I was like, "Oh...

It was...

It was a long drive home.

He calls me, and my knees

just buckled.

I'm like, "What?"

Like, you don't know what to


And so he's like, "I have to go

into surgery tomorrow morning."

And I'm like, "Well, on what?"

I mean, this just shows you

the ignorance of a 27-year-old

that has never dealt with this.

I'm like, "On what?"

He's like, "They've got to

remove my testicle."

I never knew anybody

who had cancer.

Nobody I knew.

Nobody I worked with had cancer.

Certainly, she never thought

that she would have

to face this

and to face that dilemma of,

"Oh, my God, am I going

to outlive my only son?"

I was praying to God...

[voice breaking] ...it's not

Stage 4.

It'll be 2. It'll be 3.

And then learning

it was Stage 4...


Realistically, what

are his chances?

With what Lance had,

almost none.

We told Lance initially 20%

to 50% chance, mainly to give

him hope.

But with the kind of cancer

he had, with the lung X-rays,

the blood tests, almost no hope.

You know, cancer was what you

got when you smoked cigarettes

or when you led a poor lifestyle

or, you know, had asbestos in

your house, or --

I was like, wait a minute,

I'm one of the fittest people

in the world.


On Wednesday, October 2nd,

I was diagnosed

with testicular cancer.

On Thursday,

October 3rd, I underwent surgery

at St. David's Hospital

here in Austin to have

the malignant testicle removed,

and the surgery was successful.

In terms of degrees of the

disease, my condition is

considered to be between

moderate and advanced,

and thus yesterday I began

my first day of chemotherapy


I will undergo chemotherapy

for at least 12 weeks,

and then depending on

how I respond to the treatment,

may have to undergo

more chemotherapy

and other procedures

to fight this disease.

We found out that it had

metastasized to his brain.

He looked sick.

They shaved his head

to do the surgery, and that was,

you know, that was the period

where you thought, yeah,

he might not make it.

You kind of thought, hey,

you know, survival is success.

Survival with

your faculties intact.

Survival and the ability

to have a job.

I mean, survival and be

a bike racer was, you know,

almost too good to consider.

First he had a testicle removed.

Then he had brain surgery.

Then he had chemotherapy

for his lymph nodes and lungs

and, you know, his whole body.

Laying in the hospital bed

and puking your brains out, not

knowing if you were gonna

live or die...

It was a competition to me.

Right, so you had cancer as

the -- as the enemy,

and you had me as the good guy.

And all of the things that we

monitor, tumor markers, chest

X-rays, those were all stats

and things on the scoreboard.

The tumor marker

was the scoreboard.

It was a game to me.

But it was a game

of life and death.

Armstrong's toughness

recently paid off

in some holiday cheer.

His blood levels are now normal,

the spots on his lungs reduced.

This is the very, very best

Christmas that I have ever had

in my whole life, bar none --

that he will be cured

and that we'll be blessed

with his health from now on.

Until you're five years clear

from a cancer treatment, you're

always worried about relapse.

And, you know, it was in the

back of everybody's mind,

this moment may not last.

Do you think you got cancer

because of the doping?

You know, I [sighs] I don't

know the answer to that.

And I don't want to say no

because I don't think that's

right either.

I don't know if it's yes or no.

But I certainly wouldn't say no.

The only thing I will tell you

is the only time in my life

that I ever did growth hormone

was the 1996 season.

And so just in my head

I'm like, "Growth, like

growing, hormones and cells --"

Like if anything good needs

to be grown, it does.

But wouldn't it make also sense

that if anything bad

is there that it too would grow?

So, how did you come up

with the idea for

the Lance Armstrong Foundation?

When I was diagnosed, I think

that I looked at my situation

and you had a disease

that young men didn't want

to talk about, which they still

don't want to talk about.

And I don't blame them.

You know, almost immediately,

within a month or two, I

thought, "Let's do something


Let's try to help."

There's no awareness about it.

I didn't know a testicle bigger

than another is a problem.

And that's why when I win this

battle, everybody's gonna know.

And it starts today.

He came to me and to Bart

and a few other people

and wanted to do something.

We had very modest

expectations or ambitions.

We were -- We were gonna have

an annual bike ride in Austin,

try to raise some money,

find somebody to give the money

to and that's it.

We chose a ride that I had

always run as a non-competitive

kind of training race in Austin.

We did the first Ride for the

Roses, I guess that would have

been the February of '97.

It was a major success.

They had like 5,000 riders.

People were on bikes

that they had just dusted

out of their garage.

I mean, just squeaking

down the road.

And you've got to remember,

in Austin, Texas, people kind of

knew who he was but didn't

really know who he was.

They're not out there just to

"I'm gonna ride my bike and

get in shape and everything."

Like, no, they're there

because this is my cause.

To raise money for testicular

cancer awareness.

And for Lance.

It's a great cause.

It was an amazing time.

And you start to learn

about this cancer community.

And we were just going

to donate the money

to the American Cancer Society.

They came, and we met with them.

And we started asking questions.

And all their answers,

boy, it was just not

the answers that we wanted.

They weren't addressing

awareness, patient navigation,

all these things

that would just help a person

navigate the cancer world.

We realized at that time

we needed to do more.

This idea of cancer survivorship

really came home,

and so we started to build

the idea of the foundation

around this idea

of how do we help people

with cancer right now?

We started heading down

the road of doing our own


Everyone had the passion,

the purpose,

and that's how great companies,

how great not-for-profits

get started.

And that's how Livestrong

eventually developed.

Oh, wow, there's a...

[ Indistinct talking on radio ]

Byrnesy, quit talking. Let's go.

Is it bad that Anna has her

seat belt on and I don't?

How do you not put

a seat belt on, dude?


You don't have to have it on in

the back seat.

Of course you do.

No, you don't.

It's not a law.

You don't have to have

a seat belt on.

Yes, you do!

No, you don't.

There's not a law

in the back seat

you can have your seat belt off.

It's just if you have a seat

belt, you have to put it on.

If you're on a bus

and you have a seat belt,

you got to put it on.

If there's a seat belt

available, you got to put it on.

We should really -- We should


We got to go.

We do have to go.

We're gonna -- we --

You got to put

your seat belt on.

It'd be kind of a...

move to be late.

[ Chuckles ]

[ Indistinct conversations ]

[ Camera shutters clicking ]

I think they should --

speaking of PR, I think

we should change the name.

A lot of people throughout

this process were like,

"Take him off the ticket.

We don't want him."

But at the end of the day,

someone has to do

what they think is right,

and I think it's right

to give an award to somebody

who has done a lot of good.

Lance Armstrong

is one of the best dudes

I've ever met in my life.

And to see him tonight,

to be able to sit here

and present the Inspiration

Award Babes for Boobs,

to this dude,

I couldn't be any more honored.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Lance Armstrong.

[ Cheers and applause ]

Okay. All right.

Uh, I just want to say one thing

real quick because it's

really -- it is the reason that

breast cancer has become such,

for lack of a better word,

such a successful story.

Because you women

had the courage

and the brains to mobilize

and tell your story

and to ask people to help

and to, you know,

have Washington, D.C.,

get off their ass.

So here's to the women

in the room,

and thank you very much.

[ Cheers and applause ]

[ Laughs ]

[ Indistinct conversations ]

Hey, bro, I think you could

have walked right out the front

and no one would give a...

I mean, at this point

though, isn't the back alley

thing where we've got to walk

by nine dumpsters to get out

of a place a little tired?

Nobody cares.

They either love or hate him.

Take it easy, all right?

Yeah, you too,

thank you very much.

The last five years has really

caused me to, you know, pause

and try to understand not just

myself, but what this story

meant to other people, what this

story meant to the world, right?

And, you know, that's

a heavy thing to think about.

I never knew this story

was as big as it was.

I just -- I knew it was big,

but I didn't know it was --

I didn't know it was that big.

If I was competing today,

I could tell you

who my peers would be, right?

My peers would be

Michael Phelps, LeBron James,

and so I can -- I see where they


And so only now do I realize,

"Okay, that's where you were."

That's where I was.

I really don't miss that.

And I think if I'd have stayed

there, it wouldn't have been

good for my family.

[ Man speaking French ]

[ Applause ]

Motorola lost its sponsorship

in '96.

So that was the last year

of Motorola.

So we were all kind of

just left on our own

to find our own teams.

We had wound up all signing

for team Cofidis, which

is a brand-new French team.

I feel good, I feel strong

standing here, but I still

have a ways to go on the bike.

Lance showed up

at our training camp.

Seeing the other French riders

almost be scared to touch him

or shake his hand,

it was crazy to see him in

that condition where he wasn't

that magnet in the room,

that he was frail,

that he was fragile.

Doesn't have any eyebrows.

Doesn't have any,

you know, hair.

That definitely felt like it

was just a matter of time

before they found a way

to get him out of his contract.

We were at Interbike

together, and that's the big

bike convention.

It's held in Las Vegas

every year.

Lance and Bill could meet with

maybe some of these teams,

and he was getting the stiff arm

from all of them.

And he's like, "Man,

they're just screwing me or

they don't respect me anymore."

We called every team,

and it was either...

or a short conversation.

Part of me was like,

"Well, dude, what do you want?

You wanted them to pay you

$500,000 or $1 million a year

and you haven't done anything.

Let alone you had cancer."

I thought that I'd have a

home, I'd have a team,

I'd have a place,

and there was nothing.

It just didn't seem possible

that he was going to be able

to come back

to the highest level of sport

after cancer.

Only one team wanted me.

Good morning, everyone.

We're very excited about the

news that we're about to


The Postal Service

is very proud to deliver

this great American athlete

back to the sport of cycling.

It's not like the deliveries

that we normally make.

[ Laughter ]

Lance, on behalf of

the 750,000 men and women

of the US Postal Service,

we're proud to welcome you

to our team.

It wasn't my first choice,

but it was the only choice I


Just one year -- just over

a year ago on October 9, 1996, I

sat before you and shared the

devastating news of my diagnosis

with testicular cancer.

This past year has truly been...

Thom Weisel, who at that time

owned the Postal Service team,

was like, "I want you, Lance,

but we're only gonna pay you

this much."

Which was kind of a little bit

of a slap in the face.

And Lance was like, "Man,

that's just -- That's a joke."

So Bill came up with an idea,

I think, I wasn't there for

this part of the negotiation,

but I do remember

it was tied to UCI points.

UCI is the organization

that runs cycling.

The more points that you have,

the more value you have as a

rider -- just as in football,

the more rushing yards that you

have or more passing yards

that you have, your value's

going to go up.

They said, "Okay,

for every UCI point Lance gets

he'll get $1,000 bonus."

So they took the deal.

He goes and does his first race.

He doesn't do

what he's known to do.

He got dropped in the race

in Pyr?n?es, and he just said,

"I'm out."

He went home.

Like, he didn't know what he was

gonna do.

And I remember we were in France

somewhere and he was just like,

"I can't do this anymore."

That was like the one

of the very few times in my life

or my experience with Lance

where I saw him

where he wasn't sure of himself.

I came back and thought,

"Oh, my God, like, I raced

probably for years

with metastatic cancer

in the lungs, in the abdomen,

in the brain.

Like, it's all gone now.

Like, I'm ready."

And it -- And I got my -- I went

over and got my ass kicked.

There was a lot

of expectations

he would do well here,

but instead mentally

he was broken.

He left for America.

[ Sea gulls calling ]

How did you meet Lance?

I met Lance last year

at the Ride for the Roses.

I was working for an advertising

and public-relations firm,

and we got to be friends.

Both of us were dating

other people at the time

but just sort of clicked.

We were in love and we wanted

to be married and start a

family, and she was a great

supporter of mine as a guy who

was being sort of reentered into


In Santa Barbara,

we all went out to dinner

and she seemed

very sophisticated.

Almost, you know, soft-spoken,

demure, but Lance liked her

because she called him out.

Kind of like

the way Frankie did.

So that's what he really liked

about her.

After dinner he took me aside,

we were walking to the car

and he said, "Bets, come here."

And I said, "What?"

And he said, "What do you


And I said, "She seems nice.

I don't know why

she's with you."

[ Chuckles ]

I'm easy to get along

with, though.

No, I'm just kidding.

It depends on who you ask.

I am not always

the most level-headed person.

I'm pretty volatile.

She's pretty steady

and I certainly know

I need that in my life.

I need that steadying force,

and before I never had that.

I think for him he was

in this state of mind of,

"Okay, I've been through this

hell physically and...

I want all these things in my


I think that's just natural.

That people that have been

on their death bed

when they come back,

if they don't already have that,

they want it, and they want it


After you faced death,

was it hard to take EPO?

Um...you mean the decision?

Because it took --

we did EPO before

and then obviously did it after.


[ Chuckles ]




Jesus. Sorry.


In many ways -- and this is not,

you know, this is not going

to be a popular answer,

but in many ways,

EPO is a safe drug.

And, you know,

assuming certain things.

Assuming taken properly,

assuming taken

under the guidance

of a medical professional,

taken in, you know,

conservative amounts.

There are far worse things

you can put in your body.

Do you ever see yourself

doing the Tour again?

[ Sighs ]

I mean, it's such

a long way off, but, I mean...

Yeah, that's --


That's a tough one to answer.

My gut tells me, no, never


That's my first instinct.


It's such a hard event,

and I don't know

what's gonna happen with me

and cycling in 1999.

This year it certainly won't


An investigation into the use

of banned substances

at this year's Tour de France

has led to the expulsion

of the top-rated Festina team.

The team manager admitted

that some of his riders had been

using performance-enhancing

drugs under medical supervision.

The world's most grueling

sporting event all

but collapsed today under

the weight of a drug scandal

that has threatened the very

future of the Tour de France.

[ Woman speaking French ]

All of us were a little bit

shocked that, you know,

law enforcement would come in

on this.

This isn't just a sporting issue


Now this is a legal, you know,

penal issue.

Festina showed that a team

was actually --

you could near enough say

on an industrial basis --

utilizing doping products.

These guys were going

to jail.

They were getting, you know,

the old French strip search,

body cavity search

sort of things.

Luckily, I didn't speak

very good French at that time.

[ Man speaking French ]

We would just go into our room,

lock the door, watch MTV,

and wake up in the morning

ready to go again, all motivated

and looking forward to the day.

And then we'd get

to the breakfast table

and all of our French teammates

would have like bags

under their eyes, bloodshot eyes

because they were up listening

to everything on the news.

People are either arrested,

they drop out of the race,

they disappear in the night.

ONCE disappeared.

They just put everybody

on the bus and took off.


It was utter carnage.

People were getting rid of drugs

like they were going out

of fashion -- which I guess

they were, at that race, anyway.

Up till that moment

when that happened,

it was like the Wild West.

Everything very open.

White lunch bags getting

passed out like this.

[ Speaking French ]

Doctors were petrified.

And actually I quite enjoyed

seeing the doctors scared,

because I'd always had a problem

with the doctors.

Because I thought you're meant

to look after people's health,

and kind

of providing performance

enhancing drugs isn't looking

after someone's health, is it?

It was seen that there was

a need for an objective

third party to enforce the

anti-doping rules of a sport.

It was that scandal which led

to the creation of WADA.

The problem at that time

was that the athletes

were ahead of the system.

And it took several years

for WADA to catch up

with exactly what products

the athletes were using

and to create tests for those.

The effects of this Tour --

not over at this point.

Phil Liggett, you've seen 26 of


You've been a part of that

for all these years.

You told me it's the most

amazing race you've ever seen.

What about the Tour de France

in the future?

What kind of an effect

will the controversy have?

The important thing

is the sport of cycling

has been hit very hard.

It must take a real hard

look at itself.

We want the cheats out,

and the only way to achieve that

is to have better dope controls

and to give much

stiffer penalties for those

who are guilty of cheating.

Lance didn't ride

the Tour in 1998.

He had kind of a stop-and-start


I grew really frustrated.

Basically quit.

My wife at the time, Kristin,

and a group of friends

were like, "Look, you can't --

you can't quit like this.

You have to finish the season.

Just go finish the season.

Just ride it out,

and then you can retire."

So when I came back

in the late summer and fall,

I made a deal with myself.

I said, "The only promise I have

is that I will finish

every race that I start.

I won't quit a race."

And I started winning.


I won the Tour of Luxembourg.

I won a big race in Germany.

Fourth in the Tour of Spain.

So that's the first time

that I had proven myself

in a three-week race.

And that was a surprise

to everybody.

Surprise to me.

I convinced in the fall,

I convinced Johan Bruyneel

to come on and be

the new director of this team.

You have the Tour de France,

Tour of Italy, Tour of Spain.

There's three races

that are three weeks long.

Anybody who gets a good result,

top five or podium

in one of those big races

has the potential

to be in the front.

I'm not talking about winning,

but in the front

at the Tour de France.

This realization that "Oh,

my God, I'm gonna get

another shot at this --"

another shot at life,

another shot at sport,

another shot at glory,

another shot at money,

another shot at fame.

All these other shots.

Johan said, "You're going

to look really good

standing on the podium at

the Tour de France next year."

That moment cemented

their relationship

because Lance was still

in a very defiant mode

at that point about his illness.

That, you know,

"I'm gonna come back

and I'm gonna show you all."

I held on to a lot

of bitterness about --

If you have 20 teams in the Tour

those other 19...them.

And I was gonna get them.

With the beauty and the

tradition as classic as

the French countryside itself,

the curtain now comes up

on the 1999 Tour de France.

Lance Armstrong now completing

a miraculous recovery

from testicular cancer.

Since 1903, the only thing

that has ever canceled the

Tour de France has been

world war.

Not even last year's

drug scandal could do that.

But when you look at the numbers

and the overview of the course,

this may be

an attempt by Tour organizers

to create an easier race

so that cyclists don't have to

use performance-enhancing drugs.

The challenge the first year

was find or have nine guys

that were actually capable

of riding the Tour de France.

First year was Lance, George,

Kevin Livingston,

Hamilton, Frankie Andreu,

we had a French guy --

Pascal Deram?,

Danish guy, Peter Meinert,

Christian Vande Velde,

who was a young rider,

and then Jonathan Vaughters.

Nine guys.

One is a protected leader for

the team.

Everybody else essentially is --

they use the French term

"domestique," which means

you're in service of the leader.

So we're going into the '99

Tour of redemption.

Everybody's thinking, "Okay.

Well, we had our worst

experience and everything's

gonna be clean now."

And obviously, you know,

I thought so too.

I didn't think

it could get worse.

The drug that was the most

beneficial for cyclists, EPO --

That drug was still


So people could take it

and not get caught.

The performance-enhancing

benefit can be 10%.

Now, consider that the

difference between the first-

place rider and the last-place

rider in the Tour de France

generally is about two hours,

okay, and that's

for a 100-hour race.

So from first to last is 2%,

and the difference of EPO

is 10%.

Now, it's more complicated

than that, of course.

But that gives you a lens

into how much of a difference

this particular drug made.

You had the tremendous

performance benefit,

and you had the fact that nobody

was scared to take it.

If you want to win

the yellow jersey in Paris,

you've got stay up near

the front throughout the race.

And you do that

by doing well in time trials.

And this is the prologue

time trial.

As he was coming back

and getting ready for the Tour

there was one company

that we had talked to,

Bristol-Myers Squibb.

They made all three

of the chemotherapy drugs

that Lance used

to save his life.

It seems like the most obvious

sort of commercial partnership

you could come up with, right?

I spent a year with this company

trying to convince them

and never was able to do it.

He is aiming at 8:09.

He's certainly ahead

of Chris Boardman at this point!

My goodness me! 802.51.

Lance Armstrong with that

performance, Paul, I think may

have done enough.

Look at the face

on Armstrong there.

He's come here on a mission

and today, Phil, he's done

the best prologue time

trial of his life.

Lance wins the prologue,

and my phone rings

and it's John Kouten

from Bristol-Myers Squibb.

He said, "This is the most

embarrassing phone call

I've ever had to make.

We're ready to do a deal."

I didn't expect Lance

to win the prologue.

All of a sudden you go

from like, okay, maybe I can

try to get in the breakaway

or try to win a stage to like...

we've got to, like, protect

the overall lead here."

We were not prepared at all.

It just happened to us

and we were living it

from day to day,

you know, "Okay, another day.

Okay, we survived another day."

In cycling and in general,

I think you'll realize

that most of the guys,

it's such a hard sport

that most people are

just not too big of egos

that are involved just because

one day you're doing great, the

next day you're on the ground.

So I think it keeps

everyone quite humble.

What about Lance?


[ Laughs ]

That's good.

Then you have Lance.

Armstrong has won three time

trials this year, two of them

prologues, one on the open road.

I bet he'd trade all three

for the win right now.

This is traditionally one

of the most significant days

of any Tour de France.

Whoever wins today immediately

becomes the odds-on favorite

to win the Tour

and subsequently establishes

the tactics that must be used

by the rest of the field

as we go into the mountains

in the final two weeks.

This is it.

Lance Armstrong has got the

world time trial champion in his

sights, and he's going in.

This is unbelievable.

You could have got

any odds on this happening

and they would have been long.

And he's gonna catch him.

In 1999, I was

It was hosted out of my buddy's

garage in Tampa Bay,

Florida, on a 286 computer.

I got this call.

My friend says, "You have

crashed every server that I

have," because Americans were

starting to clamor for

information about how well Lance

was doing.

We had the opportunity

to take this to the masses

in a way that had never

really been done before, and the

masses cared.

[ Cheers and applause ]

Despite the fans' continued

support this has been

a Tour of Suspicion following

last year's Tour of Shame.

The French media in particular

have speculated that a man

who has been so ill

could only win one of the most

grueling events in sport

with the help of illegal drugs.

A lot of the journalists

who were skeptical about Lance

were skeptical in the first week

of the Tour de France.

And then as Lance

kind of cemented his position

in the yellow jersey,

they found themselves

being more challenged.

The guy's been through so


He deserves this more than


He's gonna do it,

and it's for him.

This is his Tour de France.

Tour de Lance!

You can get terrible cancer,

you can recover,

you can come back,

and you can be better

than you ever were before.

People love that story.

But if you were prepared to look

at it with any degree of

honesty, you would say,

"Hold on."

The race would be slower

because they would be using

far less drugs, so the speeds

would drop.

And '99 was the fastest Tour in


Hein Verbruggen and

Pat McQuaid looked the other way

when it was pretty obvious

that Armstrong had been doping.

There were media complaints

that Lance was -- he was a

favored rider of Hein's.

He was helping the sport

become a global sport.

And so Hein at that time would

have thought that Lance was,

you know, a great star and that

he was good for the sport.

If the question is, "How much

did you have Hein Verbruggen

in your pocket?" there's a lot

of different ways to answer


Financially, zero.

Did Hein --

And he's no longer with us

to answer this question himself,

but do I believe that Hein

wanted to protect the sport?


Protect me?

Yes, because that protects the


He was coming off the heels of


The world is following this

story of this cancer survivor,

and then bam --

the headline "Cortisone

found in his urine sample."

A number of publications,

including a leading French

sports journal, have insinuated

that Armstrong is on

performance-enhancing drugs,

that a cancer

survivor could not possibly be

strong enough to lead the

world's toughest bicycle race.

There was a sample that came

back that had traces of

a particular type of cortisone,

which I had taken


That type of cortisone

was available

a lot of different ways.

You could inject it,

you could have eye drops,

you could have a nasal spray

or you could have a cream.

He's using the cream for saddle


And so Hein just...

It's like, "That's it.

In one of the controls, there

was in fact some minute traces

of cortisone that was due to the

fact I was using a skin cream.

If it was another cortisone that

was only available through an

injection, I'm...

A year ago today, the Tour de

France, very honestly, was

almost dead.

Scandal surrounding the use of

performance-enhancing drugs

had just about killed this bike

race and ruined the reputation

of the sport.

Ironically, it took

an American, Lance Armstrong,

who had faced death himself, to

breathe life back into cycling

and almost single-handedly

save the Tour de France.

Absolutely right.

If you believe in miracles,

if you believe in fairy tales,

if you believe in life,

then you believe

in Lance Armstrong.

I remember sitting with him,

and Friday

was the final time trial.

Saturday was an easy stage

and then Sunday's

the ride into Paris.

And I remember sitting with him

going, "Hey, man, I wouldn't try

too hard on this time trial.

Like, it doesn't matter.

You've won the thing."

And he looked at me like,

"You are...crazy.

You do not understand anything.

I am the yellow jersey,

and I will win this time trial."

What if he falls over and, like,

something bad happens?

Like, we're going to do

"Letterman" next week.

As he comes up to the line,

it's 16 seconds -- 15, 14.

It is getting desperately

close here.

Zulle versus Armstrong,

and Zulle loses.

Armstrong is the winner

of the time trial -- 01:08:17.

Armstrong takes an almost

unassailable lead of 7:37 into

tomorrow's final stage, which

finishes on the Champs-Elys?es

in Paris.

The specialist climbers

and sprinters have tried

to upstage him along the way,

but Armstrong proved too good

for all of them.

Thousands flocking to see

the yellow jersey's procession

towards the finish line.

The overall winner

of the Tour de France

is the American Lance Armstrong.

And he has been without doubt

the finest rider in this race.

Armstrong says he's living

proof that if life gives you

a second chance, you take it

and make it better

than the first.

I didn't understand

that this story

was going into the hearts

and minds of Americans

and embedding itself

in American sports history.

Congratulations, friend,

on behalf of all of us

in Texas and America.

We're so proud of you.

How are you feeling?

Oh, I'm wasted.

I bet you are wasted.

Tonight, Austin will make

sure he feels welcome.

Thousands of people came

on bicycles and pedaled down

Congress Avenue in Austin,

Texas, to pay tribute to the

most famous bicyclist in the


[ Crowd cheering ]

An outpouring made

all the more special, he said,

because three years ago

when tumors had spread

to his lungs and brain

Austin residents

never gave up on him.

If you're looking

for a personal hero,

if you're looking for somebody

by whom to be inspired, you

could certainly do a lot worse

than this next guy.

Please welcome a champion

and a hero, Lance Armstrong.

When he won after coming back

from cancer, that put him

on a whole different level.

It transcended the sport.

It was about something entirely

different from that day on.