POSTED: Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - 9:00am
UPDATED: Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - 9:04am
NBC NATIONAL NEWS — Lance Armstrong, the seven-time Tour de France champion, competed in and won an Ironman competition in Florida over the weekend.
Armstrong won the men's pro division and completed the 1.2-mile swim, 56-mile bike ride and 13.1-mile run at Lake Eva Park in 3 hours, 45 minutes, 38 seconds.
As Armstrong finished the race, an estimated 1,000 people surrounded the finish line and Armstrong even high fived a few of them on his way to the finish line and the win.
Armstrong, who competed as a professional triathlete at age 18 before focusing on cycling, was in fifth place after the 1.2 mile swim yesterday, and took the lead about 20 miles into the 56-mile ride.
He stayed in front throughout the 13.1-mile run to finish in a time of 3 hours, 45 minutes and 38 seconds.
"You know for me, it’s cool to win, but even more importantly it's great to be 41 years old, be fit, be healthy and be cancer free,” stated Armstrong. “I don't know it must be something, maybe Florida is good, the last time I won a triathlon was 22 years ago in Florida."
The 41-year-old Armstrong won a national sprint triathlon championship in North Miami Beach when he was 19.
Armstrong, who won the Tour de France, cycling's most prestigious race, each year from 1999 to 2005, will next compete in a 70.3-mile Ironman event in Hawaii on June 2.
He's also scheduled to race a 140.6-mile full Ironman event June 24 in Nice, France, in his quest to earn enough points to qualify for the world championship in Hawaii on October 13.