23 Days in July: Inside Lance Armstrong's Battle to Win a Record Sixth Tour de France

23 Days in July: Inside Lance Armstrong's Battle to Win a Record Sixth Tour de France

by John Wilcockson
     
 

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Taking place over twenty-three days in July and across more than 2,100 miles of smooth blacktop, rough cobblestones, and punishing mountain terrain, the Tour de France is the most grueling sports event in the world. And in 2004, five-time champion Lance Armstrong set out to achieve what no other cyclist in the 100-year history of the race had ever done: win a

Overview

Taking place over twenty-three days in July and across more than 2,100 miles of smooth blacktop, rough cobblestones, and punishing mountain terrain, the Tour de France is the most grueling sports event in the world. And in 2004, five-time champion Lance Armstrong set out to achieve what no other cyclist in the 100-year history of the race had ever done: win a sixth Tour de France.Armstrong had four serious challengers who wanted nothing more than to deny the man the French call Le Boss from achieving his goal. The major threat among them was the only other former Tour de France champion in last year's race, Germany's Jan Ullrich- The Kaiser. But when the race was over, Lance Armstrong once again wore the yellow jersey of victory.

Editorial Reviews

Long before Lance Armstrong was born, John Wilcockson was already covering the Tour de France. The man acclaimed as "the best cycling writer in the United States" first interviewed the future record-setting champion when Armstrong was still a teenager. Wilcockson's account of the 2004 Tour de France captures not only the glory of Armstrong's history-making sixth championship but also presents the day-by-day drama of this major international sports event.
Austin American-Statesman 7/1/05
"Wilcockson is one of the top cycling writers... He puts that experience to good use."
Publishers Weekly
Armstrong's record sixth Tour de France victory didn't cause much of a stir in the U.S., but Wilcockson's account shows why the "Tour has always fascinated writers," even if it hasn't always captured the attention of Americans. The author, whose work has appeared in the New York Times, draws on conversations with Armstrong, his race team and his challengers before, during and after the race for an intimate glimpse of this particular world's friendships, rivalries and scandals. The resulting portrait of Armstrong, from his recovery from cancer to his exhausting training methods, unmatched physical strength and mental toughness, is that of a newly single dad, with no memories of his own father, and a sporting "legend." The book's structure, with its day-by-day account of the Tour, allows readers to appreciate what an arduous undertaking the race is. As the race revisits stages and locations from previous Tours, Wilcockson smartly looks back at some of the Tour's great moments and explores how it has changed because of its recent "Lance-ification." While Wilcockson mostly celebrates Armstrong and the Tour, he doesn't shy away from the doping scandals and accusations that have haunted both Armstrong and the race over the years, and he does give Armstrong a chance to answer his critics. A thorough appendix further explaining cycling's subtle intricacies ends this well-crafted book. Map, photos. Agent, Jim Levine. (Nov. 15) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780306814556
Publisher:
Da Capo Press
Publication date:
06/13/2005
Pages:
314
Product dimensions:
5.98(w) x 9.08(h) x 0.94(d)

Meet the Author

John Wilcockson reported on his first Tour de France in 1968. He has written for Outside and Men's Journal and reported on major cycling events for NPR, the BBC World Service, and the New York Times. His many books include John Wilcockson's World of Cycling. He lives in Boulder, Colorado.Graham Watson has been covering the Tour de France since 1977. He lives near London.

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