It's no yellow jersey, but President Bush yesterday presented Lance Armstrong with another shirt to show for his biking experiences -- a red, white and blue T-shirt emblazoned "Tour de Crawford."
The leader of the free world and the world's biking master rode for 17 miles on Bush's ranch for about two hours at midmorning. Bush showed Armstrong the sights of the ranch that he calls "a little slice of heaven," including a stop at a waterfall midway through the ride.
They were accompanied by a small group of staff and Secret Service agents and a film crew from the Discovery Channel, Armstrong's sponsor, which had exclusive media access for the ride. Footage was shot for a program on Armstrong, who has won a record seven straight Tour de France titles, to air next week.
Neither Bush nor Armstrong spoke to reporters, although White House spokesman Trent Duffy said the president was impressed with the champ's skills.
"Recognizing what the world has known for years, the president said, 'He's a good rider,' " Duffy said.
The president has taken up biking with a fervor since a bad knee forced him to give up his running routine a few years ago. He has been spending a lot of time riding while staying in Texas this month. It was Armstrong's first ride at the presidential ranch, which is about 100 miles north of Armstrong's adopted home town of Austin.
Duffy wouldn't say whether they talked politics, a topic that Armstrong, who turns 34 this month, has said he is getting more interested in now that he is retiring from biking. Armstrong calls Bush a friend, but he has spoken out against the war in Iraq and has said he wants the government to spend more money on cancer research.
* BASEBALL: Kalen Pimentel tied a Little League World Series record for a regulation, six-inning game with 18 strikeouts to lead Rancho Buena Vista of Vista, Calif., to a 7-2 victory over Owensboro (Ky.) Southern in the Little League World Series in South Williamsport, Pa.
"It took me a couple of innings to get adjusted and I started to get in a groove about the fourth inning," Pimentel said. "My fastball and curve were really working well."
The feat was last accomplished in 1979 by Chao-An Chen of the Pu-Tzu Town team from Taiwan.
In other games, Chiba City, Japan, shut out Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, 3-0; defending world series champion Curacao defeated Venezuela, 5-4, in eight innings; Canada blanked Mexico, 2-0; and Lafayette, La., rallied to beat Westbrook, Maine, 3-2.
* TENNIS: Roger Federer rallied for a 4-6, 7-5, 6-4 semifinal victory over Robby Ginepri in the $2.45 million Cincinnati Masters, leaving no doubt that the world's No. 1 player is back in form and ready for the U.S. Open's top spot.
Federer will try for his ninth tournament title of the season today against Andy Roddick, who beat third-seeded Lleyton Hewitt, 6-4, 7-6 (7-4), in the other semifinal. History weighs against Roddick, who is 1-9 career against Federer and has lost their last five matches, including the last two Wimbledon finals. . . .
Fourth-seeded Justine Henin-Hardenne beat defending champion Amelie Mauresmo, 7-5, 3-6, 6-1, to set up a championship match against fellow Belgian Kim Clijsters in the Rogers Cup in Toronto. Clijsters, seeded seventh, beat No. 9 Anastasia Myskina of Russia, 6-4, 6-1.
-- From News Services