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Armstrong wins seventh Tour de France

PARIS, July 24 (UPI) -- In the end, the rain and Tour de France officials decided what everyone else already knew -- it was over and Lance Armstrong had won again.

Armstrong won an unprecedented seventh Tour Sunday, cementing his place in sports history and ending a career that rivaled a Hollywood script.

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Armstrong raced through the streets of Paris, champagne flute in hand, before officials stopped the Tour due to wet conditions with around eight laps to go in the largely ceremonial final stage.

The 33-year-old Texan, who plans to retire from cycling, led the race by four minutes and 40 seconds over Italy's Ivan Basso coming into Sunday. Jan Ullrich, who during Armstrong's reign had been his most consistent rival, finished third, 6:21 behind.

"[Ullrich] has challenged us on all levels for a long time and he is a special rival and special person," Armstrong said.

In 1996, Armstrong was diagnosed with testicular cancer. But he beat the disease before embarking on his string of Tour victories.

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