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Lance by a landslide

Too small for football and too poor for the in-group in Plano, Texas, Lance Armstrong discovered that he could smother psychic pain with the physical pain of cycling.

Updated: May 10, 2004, 4:06 PM ET
By Robert Lipsyte | Special to Page 2

It's all about the pain.

His mother was 17 when he was born, and his biological father left two years later. A step-father whipped him. Too small for football and too poor for the in-group in Plano, Texas, he discovered early that he could smother psychic pain with the real pain of long-distance swimming, running, cycling. That pain was self-inflicted yet comforting because he controlled it. Of them all, cycling was the best because "a bike is freedom to roam, without rules and without adults."

Lance ...

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