Lance Armstrong (born Lance Edward Gunderson on September 18, 1971) is a retired American professional road racing cyclist. He won the Tour de France—cycling's most prestigious race—seven consecutive times, from 1999 to 2005. In doing so, he beat the previous records of five wins by Miguel Indurain (consecutive) and Bernard Hinault, Eddy Merckx and Jacques Anquetil. Previous to this achievement he also survived testicular cancer, a germ cell tumor that metastasized to his brain and lungs in 1996. His cancer treatments included brain and testicular surgery, and extensive chemotherapy.
In 1999, he was named ABC's Wide World of Sports Athlete of the Year. In 2002, Sports Illustrated magazine named him Sportsman of the Year. He was also named Associated Press Male Athlete of the Year for 2002, 2003, 2004, and 2005. He received ESPN's ESPY Award for Best Male Athlete in 2003, 2004, 2005, and 2006, and won the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Overseas Personality Award in 2003. Armstrong retired from racing on July 24, 2005, at the end of the 2005 Tour de France.
Armstrong's athletic success and dramatic recovery from cancer inspired him to commemorate his accomplishments, with Nike, through the Lance Armstrong Foundation, a charity founded in 1997. The foundation's yellow rubber "Livestrong" wristbands, first launched in 2004, have been a major success, netting the foundation more than $60 million dollars in the fight against cancer, while helping Armstrong become a major player in the nonprofit sector.
These achievements have been clouded by allegations that Armstrong used performance enhancing drugs to achieve some of his wins. However, no conclusive evidence has been presented to verify these allegations and Armstrong vigorously denies them.