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Tour of Hope kicks off in San Diego

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Smiling despite recent troubles...

Smiling despite recent troubles... (Image credit: Mark Johnson)
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Lance looks relaxed as he rides with the Tour of Hope

Lance looks relaxed as he rides with the Tour of Hope (Image credit: Mark Johnson)
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Smiling despite recent troubles... Lance Armstrong rides with the Tour of Hope crew

Smiling despite recent troubles... Lance Armstrong rides with the Tour of Hope crew (Image credit: Mark Johnson)
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Being a cancer survivor has helped Armstrong appreciate the importance of an event such as the Tour of Hope

Being a cancer survivor has helped Armstrong appreciate the importance of an event such as the Tour of Hope (Image credit: Mark Johnson)
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Making their way through San Diego in fantastic Californian conditions

Making their way through San Diego in fantastic Californian conditions (Image credit: Mark Johnson)
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Which state did the Tour of Hope start in? The jersey says it all!

Which state did the Tour of Hope start in? The jersey says it all! (Image credit: Mark Johnson)
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Everyone wanted a view of the start in San Diego

Everyone wanted a view of the start in San Diego (Image credit: Mark Johnson)
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The Tour of Hope riders happy to be riding with Lance

The Tour of Hope riders happy to be riding with Lance (Image credit: Mark Johnson)
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It's not all fun and games as this rider finds out

It's not all fun and games as this rider finds out (Image credit: Mark Johnson)
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Lance in yellow to support cancer research

Lance in yellow to support cancer research (Image credit: Mark Johnson)
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It's all about hope...

It's all about hope... (Image credit: Mark Johnson)

A crowd of 2,000 people at the Scripps Green Hospital in San Diego farewelled Lance Armstrong and the Bristol-Myers Squibb Tour of Hope Team as they set off on their trip across America in the name of cancer research. The Tour of Hope is a nine-day journey from San Diego to Washington, DC, by a team of 24 people affected at some point in their lives by cancer. The aim is to raise money and awareness of cancer, and members ride as a relay team in 100-mile segments, expecting to arrive in Washington DC on October 8.

It's a well-known fact that Armstrong himself survived the disease before going on to win seven Tour de France titles, and was instrumental in establishing the ride through the Lance Armstrong Foundation. He won't be riding the entire event with the team, but left with the crew today as they made their way through San Diego, rejoining the ride during the final stages in Washington.

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