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Fans defended Armstrong on Twitter, insisting his work with Livestrong trumps what he accomplished on a bike. His success helped sell millions of “Livestrong” yellow plastic bracelets as he promoted cancer awareness and research. He’s raised nearly $500 million since the Lance Armstrong Foundation started in 1997.

On Friday alone, the foundation said it received 400 donations that totaled around $75,000.

There were plenty of fans wearing Livestrong hats and shirts in the crowd, cheering when he finished.

“I’m focused on the future. I’ve got five great kids, a great lady in my life, a wonderful foundation that’s completely unaffected by any noise out there, and we’re going to continue to do our job,” Armstrong said. “The people like the people who are standing around here or on the course, they voiced their opinion in the last 48 hours and are going to support us.”

As for the sport?

“There are a lot of good young guys. A lot of good young guys,” Armstrong said. “Cycling is going to be fine.”


AP Sports Writer Jim Vertuno in Texas contributed.