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A Clean Break: My Story Hardcover – 3 Jul 2014

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Sport (3 July 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1472910354
  • ISBN-13: 978-1472910356
  • Product Dimensions: 16 x 2.5 x 24.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 216,197 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

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This is a beautifully written book The Pink

About the Author

Christophe Bassons was a professional cyclist between 1996 and 2001, racing with the likes of Lance Armstrong, Tyler Hamilton and Richard Virenque. He now works for the French Ministry of Sport and Culture to prevent doping. Peter Cossins has been writing and reporting on cycling for over 20 years. He is a former editor of Procycling and the author of The Monuments.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By T. Deegan on 17 July 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Well, we knew from many other accounts that doping was rife in cycling. Indeed I read it in Wide Eyed And Legless decades ago that approximately 100% of the field were on "a programme", and people like Tyler Hamilton described fairly clearly how that translated into the EPO era. So why is this book any different?
What makes this book worth reading is that it is written, I believe, by a particularly clear-headed and modest man. Because of this and because of his good fortune in his motivations for being a racing cyclist which meant that he was relatively immune to the lure of doping (he explains this in more detail), his description of the world of pro racing in the 1990s sounds like something written by an outsider in the sense that he has not normalised any of the practices going on then- for example, not just the actual doping, but the fact that the drug taking extended heavily into recreational/ off-bike use and included many people who didn't even ride the bikes, and also, especially, the repellent culture of ultra-celebrity that built up in some teams when their heavily doped-up riders were doing well. Bassons shows, without deliberately labouring the point, just how unhealthy the whole sport had become. He also describes flawed "heroes" like Virenque in grim detail but refuses to pillory them as individuals, explaining that he thinks the larger system is as much to blame. To that end he little good to say about Hein Verbruggen but then neither do I, frankly.
I put down this book having revised my attitude to several things significantly, including
1) Armstrong. Sure his character is what it is but I no longer see him as a worse doper than many many others.
2) but he may still be sitting on some information
3) I am far less sure that the current peloton is clean. I very much hope so. I totally disbelieve the "tainted beef" story.

This book is worth reading. Bassoons was, and remains, an honest and interesting man.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By SideBurn on 8 Aug. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I bought this book because I have always been interested in cycling, seeing 'my' sport dragged through the doping mud is not easy, but for me compulsive. Christophe Bassons is one of the personalities that comes up a lot as a person who chose not to dope despite the most excruciating pressure placed upon him. His story is the antithesis of Tyler Hamilton's book about a rider who quickly realised that if he wanted to ride 'The Tour' then he needed his own 'little white bag of goodies'. Christophe found himself unable to sign up to chemical assistance of any kind, whether to restore his normal levels or to boost his normal levels. His story is a significant part of the Lance Armstrong era.
I found the book difficult to read in places, does anyone like to listen to someone feeling sorry for themselves or reflect on what may have been if only... maybe I am being unfair here. Where Tyler seemed to enjoy the acclaim and the money whilst doping and now seems lost in the knowledge that his results mean nothing. Christophe is now able to enjoy his notoriety, but I cannot help but wonder what would have happened if only...
I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in cycling, in particular anyone who feels that doping in sport
is not worth the fuss (they were all doing it, so what?). In particular to anyone who would like to get as good a picture of what happened in cycling during the Armstrong era as possible. It is also an interesting story about the career of a professional cyclist!
Well worth the read, a great insight into the mind of a highly principled person, who's principles cost him his livelihood. How many of us would do this? Good on him I say, I just hope I never have to make the same decision...
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Definitely worth a read from anyone that followed cycling at that time. This book is different to other doping scandal books such as Floyd llandis as Basson's purpose is not one of redemption and forgiveness but simply to speak of what he endured as a clean cyclist trying to live by his own moral code and not the code of the peloton.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Ian Franklin on 30 Aug. 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Well, there's been many a word spoken about the drugs culture in our sport. And many of those words have been spoken or written by people who don't know the first thing about it. I've been involved in this sport for more than 50 years (ouch!) and I've seen the tragedies, the cheats, the sociopath (singular) and have even been in close contact with some of the drugs on offer. Very few people have had the honesty to stand up against the use of performance enhancing drugs. Christophe Bassons did .... and this is his story. And what a story it is. Forget all the bullsh you've heard from others. Forget the apologies and the tearful admissions. Just read this and see how this blatant cheating affects real people. People like Bassons. Here is a man, a giant among cyclists, who stood up for truth and justice and sacrificed himself to do so. I have o doubt that he would hae been a great leader of men ... perhaps if his metier ad been human rights and not cycling, we would be seeing his name along side Mandela or Aung San Suu Kyi. Who''s your hero in cycling? I tell you what. Bassons is mine.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Coppi7 on 22 April 2015
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was keen to read this book as it is one of the very few European cycling books that has been translated or published into English about the topic of Doping. There is no doubt that this guy was very brave and his story is unique within the cycling world due to its honesty and integrity. But Bassons stops short of actually naming names, he does mention why in the text. He does however insinuate plenty and you have to read between the lines and join up the dots. You admire Bassons for his courage but you can't help but acknowledge that he comes across as a prickly personality.His Biological profile suggests he would have been world class if he had doped like all the rest, but one can never be sure. He is philosophical about doping considering how much it has plagued his career and his forgiveness towards Armstrong when they met in Paris was very humbling. The fact he still rides a bike after all he went through, proves that once you fall in love with cycling you never turn back.
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