Different Spokes

Meet the quirky U.S. cycling stars who are ready to race for glory when Lance Armstrong retires

How do you replace cycling's legend? Perhaps by starting with something life threatening. During last year's Tour de Georgia in Rome, Ga., Craig Lewis, a 20-year-old cycling phenom, was speeding downhill at 40 m.p.h. when a 65-year-old man accidentally drove a Mitsubishi Montero into his path. Head down, Lewis arrowed into the car. Later, a minister waited outside Lewis' hospital room ready to administer last rites, but the young rider regained consciousness. He asked for a pen, scribbled something on a bloodstained piece of paper and handed it to his coach. "Ride?" the note said. Two months later, Lewis was back on...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!