I had followed his career with interest since the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, and along with other Americans, was looking for a new cycling hero to follow the retirement of Greg LeMond. At the starting line, Armstrong coasted by and gave me a brief nod before riding out to an overall victory in the race. Five months later, he would be diagnosed with testicular cancer. Outside the cycling world, Armstrong was still relatively unknown, so the news only merited a brief blurb in the sports section. I remember praying for him, but I had no expectation of ever hearing much about him again. But Armstrong did come back—not as a mere survivor, but a conqueror.