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Armstrong Takes 15th in Bike Race

February 19, 1998

GRANADA, Spain (AP) _ Lance Armstrong finished the Ruta del Sol cycling tour in 15th place Thursday, an encouraging end to the former world champion’s first competitive race since a year-long battle against cancer.

Armstrong was the 56th finisher in the fifth and final stage of the race. He clocked the same time as the stage winner of the 93-mile course, Belgium’s Tom Steels.

Armstrong’s five-stage time was 21 hours, 40 minutes, 53 seconds, only under a minute behind the winner, Spain’s Marcelino Garcia.

Armstrong, a two-time Olympian, won the 1993 world championship and captured stages at the Tour de France in 1993 and 1996. He also won the Tour Du Pont in 1995 and 1996 before being diagnosed with testicular cancer, which also spread to his lungs and brain.

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