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Lance Armstrong Rides With Local Cyclists

October 29, 2010, 11:01 PM by David Brown

Lance Armstrong Rides With Local Cyclists
SIOUX FALLS, SD - It's not every day that arguably the greatest cyclist of all-time rides through your neighborhood. But, sure enough, 7-time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong pedaled through Sioux Falls Friday afternoon. And through the power of social media, hundreds of lucky cyclists got the chance to take the ride of a lifetime.

"I never thought this day would come," Brookings resident Kendra Hill said.

Hundreds of bike riders lined 23rd street hoping to catch a glimpse of their favorite sport's hero. Lance Armstrong was supposed to just be a guest speaker Friday. But on his Twitter page Thursday night, the world-renowned cyclist invited people to take a ride with him.

"I love the sport, I love the camaraderie, I love the people I've met along the way," Brookings resident Deann Stenson said.

Stenson is a breast cancer survivor, and says she came to Sioux Falls to meet Armstrong, a man who overcame testicular cancer. 

"I think his will, his desire, his focus on his sports, I've been really focusing on his LiveStrong theme," Stenson said. 

"It's always been the biggest support group that I've had," Lance Armstrong said.  "And I always talk about how we have nine guys who do the Tour de France, that's your team. But, the extended team that I've been lucky to have with survivors and the passion they carry, it's an unfair advantage."

And with emotions already riding high, these lucky cyclists couldn't contain their excitement.

"I feel like a schoolgirl going to prom," Stenson admitted.

"There's nervousness, giddyness," Hill added.  "And then you try to rationalize 'why do I feel like somebody waiting for their first date?' And it just doesn't make any sense, but it's great to idolize these people and have an opportunity to be in the same place with them."

Armstrong and the cyclists took a 15-mile ride around Sioux Falls that lasted a little more than an hour. Afterward, Armstrong helped open the brand-new Avera Cancer Institute.

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