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Lance Armstrong Retires For A Second Time

Texas native Lance Armstrong revealed that he is retiring for a second time from cycling in an interview with the Associated Press. 

Lance Armstrong is calling this one "Retirement 2.0."

Almost a month after finishing 65th in his last competitive race in Australia, and nearly six years removed from the last of an unprecedented seven straight Tour de France titles, the 39-year-old cyclist made clear there is no reset button this time.

This time, he's leaving professional racing behind for good.

"Never say never," Armstrong laughed at the start of an exclusive interview Tuesday with The Associated Press, then quickly added, "Just kidding."

Armstrong ends his prestigious cycling career with seven Tour de France wins - all of which came consecutively from 1999 through 2005. Making it more impressive, of course, is the fact that Armstrong recovered from testicular cancer in 1995 - cancer which had spread to his brain and lungs. Still, Armstrong battled through the cancer, survived, and turned in one of the greatest cycling careers of all-time.

Armstrong is also walking away from the sport with a bit of controversy as well, thanks in part to Floyd Landis:

He [Armstrong] remains shadowed by a federal investigation into the sport launched last year following accusations by former teammate and disgraced 2006 tour champion Floyd Landis that Armstrong used drugs and taught other riders how to beat testing. Though the probe is continuing, lawyers familiar with the case told the AP recently that any possible indictments are a long way off.

"I can't control what goes on in regards to the investigation. That's why I hire people to help me with that. I try not to let it bother me and just keep rolling right along. I know what I know," Armstrong said. "I know what I do and I know what I did. That's not going to change."

Armstrong, like many retiring athletes, did not rule out a possible career in politics, but apparently sees it as a long way off if at all - his charity work for the Lance Armstrong Foundation, LiveStrong, remains first and foremost on his radar.

Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.