Floyd Landis made one of the greatest comebacks the Tour de France has ever seen.
On Wednesday, it seemed all was lost for the cyclist, who fell from first to 11th place and slipped eight minutes behind the new leader.
The next day, Landis pulled off one of the greatest rides in tour history and was back in the running. By Saturday night, no one could touch him.
"Thank you, everybody who kept believing," Landis said Sunday after winning the race. "Most of all, my team, when things weren't going so well."
Landis rode 2,000 miles with a grinding hip in such bad shape it needs to be replaced.
The cyclist, who has osteonecrosis -- which means not enough blood gets into his right hip -- walks with a limp and cannot cross his right leg over his left.
Since fracturing his hip in 2003, Landis must mount his bike by putting his right leg over first.
After three or four hours of riding, he begins to feel intense pain, yet he managed to keep his condition secret from his fellow riders until a week into the Tour.
"It shows something that I've believed for a long time and what my parents told me since I can remember: that if you want something in life and you work hard for it, on top of that you have to be persistent and never give up," Landis said on "Good Morning America."
Landis' parents are Mennonites who were riding their bikes home from church when he won the Tour.
This Tour de France was considered one of the most open, entertaining and unpredictable in decades.
American Lance Armstrong, for whom Landis was a support rider during three of his seven titles, had retired.
The Tour's prerace favorites -- Ivan Basso and Jan Ullrich -- withdrew following their involvement in a doping investigation.
"I was lucky enough to be part of three of Lance's wins and seven in a row," Landis said. "If you've ever done this race or even watched it, it's something almost unbelievable."
Now, Landis is scheduled to replace his ailing hip, which doctors have compared to a piece of rotten wood.
"Best-case scenario, I won't miss any time racing," Landis told Outdoor Life Network. "I don't plan to do any more races this year anyway, so hopefully I'll get that out of the way, and we'll take it one day at a time after that. But I should be all right."
Landis' win put cycling's most prestigious title in American hands for the eighth straight year.
Americans have won the race 11 of the last 21 times.
"As far as greatest comeback, who can say?" Landis said. "I'll let other people judge that, but I am proud of the way my team raced and proud of the way I raced."
ABC News' Nick Watt contributed to this report.