BEST EXCLUSIVE REPORT WE COULD CONCOCT OVER THE SUMMER

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Travel
Open Season: Lance Armstrong

LE TOUR DE DEATH ZONE

On May 12, 2005, unbeknownst to Discovery Team officials, Tour de France all-time record holder Lance Armstrong became the first person to push a ski bike (on loan from Colorado's Sol Vista Golf and Ski Ranch) to the summit of 29,035-foot Mount Everest, in Nepal. Drafting off renowned mountaineer Ed Viesturs for the first part of the climb, the cyclist reached the summit at 3 P.M., where he tied his

maillot jaune

to a cairn of spent oxygen canisters and snapped a summit picture with some Sherpa fans. Armstrong then descended to base camp at 83 miles per hour. "I've never seen anything like it," said an incredulous Viesturs via iChat from an oxygen bar in Kathmandu. "The rubber suit, the time-trial helmet, Sheryl. That guy's the greatest athlete in the world!"

September 2005