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23 Days in July: Inside Lance Armstrong's Record-Breaking Tour de France Victory

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 28, 2007

    Disappointing is an understatement

    After reading 'It's Not About the Bike''BIKE' and 'Lance Armstrong's War' 'WAR' I was keen to dig even deeper into the wonderfully operatic, entirely melodramatic world of professional cycling. Sadly, this book is shallow, hollow... I read about half of it, tried to force myself to skim that last half, then tossed it. Biggest criticisms: ONE: It appears the author simply had BIKE and WAR on his desk and stole from them, only, to avoid plagiarism, waters the great stories down. TWO Although the author is touted as following the Tour for decades, his passion for the sport is? Well, it's nonexistent. Anyone who repeatedly calls the peloton either 'the pack' or 'the group' shouldn't be writing books about The Tour. THREE The approach is naive. In BIKE you get a vivid, internal presentation of Lance. In WAR you get the penetrating eye of an outsider. In 23 DAYS you get 'Lance pandering.' Lance is a great leader. Lance told his men what to do. Of course Lance would never do drugs. FOUR Writing organization that of a high-school student. If WAR was written by an investigative reported, 23 DAYS was written by a high-school student writing formulaically. 23 days, 23 chapters. 'The days off are awful as we learn about the authors infected thumb. Lift what you can from BIKE and WAR. Google the towns the Tour passes through and give a little watered-down history. Throw in a few meaningless conversations. FIVE Your learn nothing reading this book. Well, I did learn that some folks call the peloton 'the pack' and 'the group.' Again, hugely disappointing. A waste of money and a waste of time. Much better books are out there covering the very same material and time frames. Dr. Kirtland C. Peterson

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 17, 2004

    Everyman's Tour de France

    John Wilcocksons '23 Days in July' provides not only a day by day description of the race but also shares many human interest stories about the riders, and other players involved in the Tour. The book also describes the beautiful surroundings in which the race takes place as well as historic commentary. As a biking fanatic having watched the tours for many years, I found the book very enjoyable and gained a lot of new knowledge about the event. I reccomend this book to anyone who loves Cycling.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2004

    Take a trip on the tour.

    One of the great things about 23 days is that your feel like your are traveling with the entourage. The great thing about the Tour is that it is a 23 day event- it is not 23 separate events; this book brings that out in 23 different ways that talks about the history, the competitors, the physical challenges and the controversy. Great read!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 22, 2004

    Great Inside Story

    This is an excellent story about the rich history and top players of one of the worlds great sporting event. A must read for those who love sports.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 9, 2004

    The Tour Made Comprehensible To Anyone

    Tour de France level cycling is somewhat comparable to a chess game on wheels. Why would Lance Armstrong happily give up the yellow jersey, the coveted sign of race leadership, early in the race? Isn't the object to obtain and hang onto that precious piece of cloth? Lucid answers to these and many other awkward questions are answered in John Wilcockson's most recent publication. Wilcockson seamlessly caters to both major groups who might be interested in Lance Armstrong's record breaking sixth win in the 2004 Tour de France. One group is composed of bike fans who understand the Tour plenty well, but want every nuanced detail as to how Lance managed such a stunning win. The other group , and no doubt larger, is the vast American public who has been sucked in by TV coverage, by the sheer spectacle of the sport, and by the dominating audacity of the cancer survivor from Texas. Both groups will find this book 'unputdownable'. Wilcockson's enormous knowledge (this was his 36th Tour) allows him to weave all the detail a bike freak could possibly want into a larger scope that includes race history, tactical explanations, and individual bios. This book is a must for any fan of the Tour de France and Lance Armstrong, be he or she newcomer to the sport or oldtimer.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 9, 2004

    Fine play by play by the best cycling writer in the bike biz

    No one knows the inner life of an American pro roadie better than John Wilcockson. He writes in clean athletic prose and has been at the last 30+ Tours de France. Lots of backstory and anecdotes. And even a glossary and tactical Q&A for those who love Lance but may not know the inner workings of the peloton.

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