Bet you haven’t seen this pic in a long time. A body genetically built to cycle, from a larger heart and lungs to a longer femur. A body that produces less lactic acid and has a main artery from the torso to the lower body that doctors just can’t believe it is that big. If God ever created someone to excel at Grand Tours, then he created Lance.

At max output, this body can generate around 1100 watts of power. At threshold, which is a sustainable level, he can, in peak condition, hold at around 475 watts. Go to your local gym to appreciate what these numbers mean.

His fight with cancer steeled an already superb mental toughness with a philosophical insight more akin to Zen than anything in Plano. The cancer also stripped 15 pounds of upper body weight from his frame. His power to weight ratio, for the first time, exceeded the magical 6.7 level (watts to kg).

As great as his cycling accomplishments are, I believe his greatest contribution lies in the awareness and hope he has brought to those fighting this terrible, relentless and seemingly indefatigable disease we call cancer. Just in the last year, the LAF has sold more than 50 million yellow bracelets. Go to their website and you will see one thing–hope. Hope and courage flow from the top down. His legacy this will be.

Lance will be on the Letterman show tomorrow night–Monday, August 1st. Enjoy and marvel.