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Gonzalez Grows Overnight

July 12, 1996

LE-PUY-en-VELAY, France (AP) _ Chepe Gonzalez, Thursday’s stage winner, finished well back Friday in the Tour de France. But he was taller.

The 26-year-old Colombian was described by the organizers as 5-foot-2 and the smallest cyclist in the race.

No true, insisted Gonzalez. He’s 5-6, he said.

Gonzalez is also a man with a big heart.

When he was 9-years-old, Gonzalez quit school to help his mother raise their family. Now, with his cycling income, he helps support the eight women in his life: his mother, five sisters, his wife and his daughter.

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