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Published: Monday, 4/18/2005

<font face='verdana' size='1' color =#CC0000><b> * New * </b></font> Lance Armstrong says he will retire after Tour de France


AUGUSTA, Ga. Lance Armstrong will retire from professional cycling after this summer s Tour de France, ending one of the great careers in all sports.

I have decided the Tour de France will be my last race as a professional cyclist, he said today.

Armstrong, 33, will attempt to win his record seventh straight Tour de France in July. Before Armstrong, no racer had won more than four straight Tour de France races or five overall.

His streak of six straight titles, along with his inspirational recovery from testicular cancer, has made him a superstar in the sport and an international celebrity.

Armstrong s possible retirement plans had become the focus of growing speculation as he spoke in recent months that he wants to spend more time with his three children and in his campaign against cancer.

Read more in later editions of The Blade and toledoblade.com.

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