Lance: The Making of the World's Greatest Champion

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9780306818745: Lance: The Making of the World's Greatest Champion

Few people know exactly how lance Armstrong became such an amazing force in cycling. Now, in Lance, John Wilcockson draws on dozens of interviews with those who know Armstrong best, to trace his remarkable life, both on and off the bike.

Family members—including his adoptive father, speaking publicly for the first time—recall Armstrong's humble origins, the father he barely knew, and his single mom's struggle for survival. His childhood friends and early mentors recall how he also excelled at other sports, including swimming, running, and triathlons.

Known for pushing his body to the extreme and intimidating his rivals, Armstrong accomplished extraordinary feats like winning the world's professional roadrace championship at twenty-one and taking home the Tour de France trophy seven consecutive years in a row. But his many achievements have consistently been dogged by allegations of doping and secrecy.

In Lance, Wilcockson provides numerous details, many for the first time, of how Armstrong's legendary training, near-fatal bout with cancer, and battles with the media drove him to reach the pinnacle of his sport.

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About the Author:

John Wilcockson has reported on the Tour de France for more than forty years. He is the author of 23 Days in July, among other books, and lives in Boulder, Colorado.

Review:

Kirkus Reviews, 6/1/09
“[A] detailed...biography of one of the world’s most inspiring athletes...Wilcockson is at his best describing this tortuous 2,200-mile event, which tests athletes to the breaking point, and he ably captures the world of European cycling—the techniques, personalities and overwhelming passion.”

Booklist, 5/15/09
“Cycling fans will enjoy the summaries of Armstrong’s racing triumphs, and there are lots of fascinating insider anecdotes to flesh out the story line. This subject-friendly biography of one of the world’s most famous sports luminaries is sure to get lots of media hype and be in considerable demand.”

Library Journal
“This book offers stories and insights that will make it a popular choice for those who follow Armstrong and/or his sport.”

PW.com
“Wilcockson has tracked down an array of impressive sources...Armstrong has led an extraordinary life so far...”

The Independent (UK), 7/19/09
“[A] fascinating, very well put-together portrait full of insights into its subject's personality...The adult dramas – the rise to cycling prominence and his domination of the Tour, the cancer and the setting up of his cancer foundation, his marriage, fatherhood, divorce, and his relationship with Sheryl Crow – are better known, but in Wilcockson's hands they remain rich in the re-telling, and much is added to our understanding of a tumultuous life.”

The Guardian (UK), 7/19/09
“[S]ceptics might be less surprised to witness Armstrong's renaissance if they had read John Wilcockson's new biography.”

The Texas Observer, 7/10/09
“Wilcockson is able to offer the inside dope (pun intended) on the champ’s training techniques, his rise through the ranks and his triumph over family strife and cancer to emerge as one of the planet’s best-known athletes...Wilcockson certainly knows the business of bike racing, and he delivers a fine primer.”

The Daily Beast
Lance is a compelling story of survival and, above all else, endurance.”

The New York Times, 7/23/09
“Another Armstrong book?...Is there anything left to say or explain? Yes there is and Wilcockson says it and explains it meticulously, even controversially...Confident, confrontational, motivated by anger and a fear of failure — these well-known Armstrong traits are explored at length by Wilcockson in a series of interviews with figures in the rider’s past, including his adopted father, his early mentor, relatives and boyhood friends and the doctor who first diagnosed the testicular cancer that had spread to the rider’s brain, lungs and stomach. Lance lets them all speak as Wilcockson blends their stories into a skillful portrait to detail the book’s subtitle, The Making of the World’s Greatest Champion.”

The New York Times, 7/23/09
“Another Armstrong book?...Is there anything left to say or explain? Yes there is and Wilcockson says it and explains it meticulously, even controversially...Lance lets them all speak as Wilcockson blends their stories into a skillful portrait.”

San Antonio Express News, 7/27/09
“If you're an Armstrong follower, a cyclist or a fan of sports nonfiction, Lance won't disappoint.”

Bike World News, 9/1
“[F]or fans of Armstrong who are looking for a comprehensive look at his life, this book would fit the bill.”

Buffalo News, --Reviews

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