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

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

by John Wilcockson, Graham Watson (Photographer), Graham Watson
 

In July 2004, Lance Armstrong will attempt to achieve what no other cyclist has ever done-win a sixth Tour de France. The most grueling athletic event in the world, the Tour de France takes place over 23 days every July across more than 2,000 miles. From punishing mountainous terrain to flat blacktop, cyclists push their bodies to the limit to win the greatest

Overview


In July 2004, Lance Armstrong will attempt to achieve what no other cyclist has ever done-win a sixth Tour de France. The most grueling athletic event in the world, the Tour de France takes place over 23 days every July across more than 2,000 miles. From punishing mountainous terrain to flat blacktop, cyclists push their bodies to the limit to win the greatest prize in cycling.John Wilcockson is the perfect writer to tell this story-he has covered the Tour de France for the past 35 years. But 23 Days in July will be more than just a day-by-day account of the race. Wilcockson will bring together engaging nuggets of history, set up each day's race with vivid descriptions of the geography, and highlight the mental as well as the physical battle among the four principal contenders-Lance Armstrong, Tyler Hamilton, Jan Ullrich, and Joseba Beloki-with whom he will be in constant contact. Woven into the narrative will be their compelling personal stories, their preparations for the race, and their training regimens, all giving new insight into the human side of the Tour de France.With two 8-page photo inserts by the world's premier cycling photographer, Graham Watson, and featuring interviews with the Tour's only other five-time winners still alive-Belgian Eddy Merckx, Frenchman Bernard Hinault, and Spaniard Miguel Induráin- 23 Days in July will capture the rich history, nationalistic fervor, and diverse geographic challenges of the most dramatic athletic event in the world.

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.
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:
9780306814013
Publisher:
Da Capo Press
Publication date:
10/25/2004
Pages:
320
Product dimensions:
6.24(w) x 9.28(h) x 1.10(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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