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Lance Armstrong, George W. Bush bike with wounded warriors

April 27, 2011 |  1:06 pm

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Lance Armstrong joined George W. Bush on Wednesday for the final leg of the former president's 62-mile mountain bike ride with 15 U.S. soldiers who lost limbs or were seriously injured in Iraq or Afghanistan.

Bush_275 The seven-time Tour de France champion commended the soldiers for their will to recover and teased Bush about his athleticism.

“Today, he started fast but then he kind of blew a gasket,” Armstrong joked.

Bush, 64, replied: “Well, I'm eligible for Medicare next year.”

The former president said his three-day ride on the desert trails of Big Bend National Park, on the U.S.-Mexico border in southwestern Texas, was "real cool, unbelievable."

“As a commander in chief, it was my decision to put them in harm's way in the first place,” he said of the soldiers. “I feel a special bond toward them and I want them to know I'll never forget them.”

The soldiers are part of the nonprofit Wounded Warrior project.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Top photo: Former President George W. Bush, center, Lance Armstrong, center left, and a group of veterans took part in the Wounded Warrior bike ride. Credit: Juan Carlos Llorca / Associated Press

Bottom photo: George W. Bush and Lance Armstrong. Credit: Heather Leiphart / Associated Press

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