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Americans Win Two European Championships

The United States won two important European championships this weekend: the British Open and Tour de France. A sports writer and commentator for NPR discusses the two American wins.

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    Two Americans, two countries, two sports, and two big victories. We begin in France.

    After years of cycling domination by Lance Armstrong, there was a new American in Paris, when Floyd Landis crossed the finish line yesterday to win his first Tour de France.

  • FLOYD LANDIS, Tour de France Champion:

    Thank you, everybody who kept believing. And most of all, my team, when things weren't going so well, they kept fighting and never stopped believing.


    It was a victory that almost wasn't. After a disastrous ride on Wednesday dropped Landis to 11th place, eight minutes behind Spaniard Oscar Pereiro, he made most of the time back with a remarkable climb through the Alps on Thursday.


    Floyd Landis will win the Tour de France.


    In the end, Landis won the grueling tour, three weeks and 2,257 miles, by a mere 57 seconds and brought a more positive kind of excitement to a race that began with a doping scandal that eliminated several top contenders.

    Adding to the feat, the 30-year-old Pennsylvania native had suffered a hip injury from a crash several years ago and will undergo replacement surgery this fall.


    I don't feel like my life was a failure if I didn't win a race, but it was a dream. And I would be extremely disappointed if that was taken away by an unfortunate accident.


    Landis became the third American to win the tour.