Mom says Armstrong set goal to win 6th Tour

Updated: July 25, 2004, 4:12 PM ET
Associated Press

PARIS -- Linda Armstrong, mother of the champ, thought yet another win was only natural.

"Looking back, he was fast at everything, so it doesn't surprise me that this is the profession he chose," she said as her 32-year-old son, Lance, won his sixth Tour de France, the first rider to do so.

"Lance set a goal, and his goal was to win this Tour," she told The Associated Press. "Definitely, this is what he wanted."

Linda Armstrong was 17 when she gave birth to her only child, and she raised him without a father. From his youngest days, she said, he excelled as a swimmer, a runner and a cyclist.

Eight years ago, she watched Lance fight his way back from testicular cancer that spread to his lungs and brains, leaving him with less than a 50 percent chance of survival.

"I'm emotional, it's a very emotional time for me," she said, beaming broadly.

Like her son, she dodged the question of whether he would be back yet again. "Taking it one day at a time," she said.

"He says he'll be back," she concluded. "I'm not sure I can get through another one, but he rides that bike well."

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press