At least one American is welcome in France

They may not like President Bush, but it appears from this article in the International Herald Tribune that the French have warmed up to Lance Armstrong, winner of the last five Tours de France.

But, for Lance, it hasn't always been this way. THe French press, which had awarded him an award for being the most cooperative rider this year had, just two years ago, given him the "lemon prize" for being a pain in the, well, let's say neck.

This acceptance has spread beyond the French press as well, though. It was not an uncommon sight to see American flags adorning the tour route, many held by French people. He has been cheered at sign-ins, and has been called "a class act" by people surveyed about him.

This doesn't mean that the relationship between the US and France is out of the woods yet. The long-tumultuous relationship, which has included mutual support for each others revolutions, has been particularly strained this year because of the Iraq war. But, our sporting ambassador is out to do his bit to change that, remarking often that the relationship between the two countries needs to be repaired.

Lance Armstrong, truly a class act and a great champion.