July 25, 2003
Australian newspaper The Age offers the first wrap-up of the 2003 Tour:
But then came the Pyrenees, and a stage that will live for ever among the legends of the tour. Having sternly resisted Ullrich's attempted breakaway on the Col du Tourmalet, Armstrong himself attacked on the ascent to the stage finish at Luz-Ardiden. While Mayo and Ullrich struggled to keep pace, he tangled with a spectator's bag and fell. Remounting, he attacked again and rode away from his rivals.
The last 20 minutes of the stage were stunning. There was the way the Texan's main rivals paused to allow him to catch up after the crash. There was the consoling pat on the back that Armstrong gave Sylvain Chavanel as he passed the exhausted young French rider.
Cycling, a great sport bedevilled by its association with drugs, has never looked as noble as it did in those moments.
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