Oprah: You've already exceeded your wildest dreams. What's your new vision for yourself?

Lance: First and foremost, I want my kids to be healthy and happy. Kristin and I don't live in the same place, so we have to raise our kids in more than one home. That's the reality, and that's a big deal. But the kids are doing great. Second, I want to continue working in the cancer community as long as I can.

Oprah: How did the whole "Live Strong" campaign come about?

Lance: "Live Strong" is our version of "carpe diem." It's a powerful phrase that a cancer survivor can use—or even a person who's starting an exercise program. That's why the wristbands have been so successful. When I wake up tomorrow, I'm going to live strong. It's cool.

Oprah: I love it. We know you live strong, but do you play well?

Lance: Yes, but I'm still too busy. I canceled a couple of vacations last winter.

Oprah: What do you do for fun? I know you love building and decorating houses.

Lance: It's the same kind of thing as training. You're constructing something. In January, you pour the foundation. February, the frame. March and April, the dry wall. July, the furniture comes in. Then on July 25, you open the door and say, "Hey, guys, how do you like the house?" The lights are lit, the music's on, the beer's cold. I build a house a year. I've built homes in Spain; now I'm doing one in Austin. But I do just play. I like to go out and have good dinners, see friends, travel, and ride motorcycles and mountain bikes.

Oprah: That's a good thing. So tell me, why didn't your marriage work?

Lance: I'm not happy that it failed. For me, divorce feels like a failure—and I don't like to fail at anything. Kristin and I met at an interesting time, when I was coming back to life, getting back on the bike. We started dating in July 1997. I still wasn't sure if I was going to be around a year from then. It all moved so fast: married in 1998, pregnant in '99, Tour de France win in '99, baby in '99. More Tours, more babies, more travel, more separation. At our core, we're just too different from each other. We drifted apart. She's a great lady and an excellent mom. We just weren't happily married.

Oprah: Where did you meet Sheryl Crow?

Lance: At a charity gala Andre Agassi threw in Las Vegas.

Oprah: Is it difficult dating another famous person?

Lance: Schedules conflict—but our interests don't. We're very similar. She's a rock star, but she's not a rock star—she's an adorable, down-to-earth girl from Kennett, Missouri, who talks to her sister every day. I can be myself with Sheryl, she can be herself with me, so we relieve each other of pressure.


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