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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.
By winning the Tour de France seven straight times (after surviving testicular cancer, no less), Lance Armstrong reached the hallowed status of athletes like Michael Jordan and Muhammad Ali. With Armstrong's cooperation, Wilcockson (23 Days in July) profiles the cyclist's rise from a hell-raising Texas kid to a determined, disciplined champion who celebrates the highs of sports immortality while enduring lows like repeated doping allegations and shattered relationships. Wilcockson has tracked down an array of impressive sources-numerous cycling associates, family members, even Armstrong's ex-wife, Kristin. However, the resulting interviews provide little more than inspirational platitudes or fuzzy reminiscences, which are accompanied by ponderous accounts of training regimens and cycling events. With Wilcockson's fawning prose the book consistently reads like a press release (e.g., "Once Lance makes a promise...he always keeps it") a heavy contributor. Armstrong has led an extraordinary life so far, becoming synonymous with a sport and a disease while befriending movie stars and dating celebrities like Sheryl Crow.