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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars From a cyclist with integrity
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...
Published 9 months ago by T. Deegan

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars I keep reading, so it must have been good!
The book had a nice flow and gave a new to cycling person, me, an incite to the real world of professional cycling. I must admit I desegregated with one of the authors key decisions during his cycling career which made me question the book. But, I keep reading to the end which suggests I was still engaged in the story and his thoughts.
Published 9 months ago by Paulhopewell


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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars From a cyclist with integrity, 17 July 2014
By 
T. Deegan (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: A Clean Break: My Story (Kindle Edition)
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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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great read. Having read many other cycling books, it's good to hear from this side of the fence even if it does make one feel, 15 July 2014
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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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Principles cost money, as they say!, 8 Aug. 2014
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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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Heroic tales, 30 Aug. 2014
By 
Ian Franklin "Justme" (Chiang Mai, Thailand) - See all my reviews
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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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A shocking but informative read, 1 Sept. 2014
Some of the riders mentioned in this book had been my 'heros' but after reading this brutally honest account of life in the peloton in the 90's, my views changed. Christophe is the true hero in this book & should be proud of his stance on doping. The way he was treated by fellow riders was disgraceful & they are the one's that should hang their heads in shame for bringing the best but hardest sport in the world into disrepute. Hold your head high, Christophe & thank you for 'outing' these outrageous cheats! An excellent read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Simply stunning and truthful, 27 Sept. 2014
By 
Mr. T. J. Hopton "yelto1" (England) - See all my reviews
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What a fantasic read this book is, I must admit i have been captured by the wall of silence within the cycling peloton during the early 1990s and beyond, I wanted to believe that the pro peloton was super human and that this group of sportmen just trained harder for longer than anyone else. However publications by Paul Kimmage, Willy Voet, Tyler Hamilton, Robert Millar and the Lance Armstrong era put things in perpective.
I was astounded to learn about the Frence scene with regards to EPO and other drugs which have beeen previously untold, the author has joined the dots for me and in doing so is totally honest and blunt naming names and in partiucular the Festina riders and also other French riders.
Poor Christophe has a s***ty start and end in the pro peloton just because he would not take drugs to improve his perfromances on the road, the way that is fellow riders treated him was appaling and humiliating, he suffered like no one else on the road but never gave in to injecting.
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4.0 out of 5 stars HE'S NOT THE MESSIAH HE'S A VERY NAUGHTY BOY., 22 April 2015
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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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4.0 out of 5 stars His testing figures put him above people like Armstrong and for his early career he looked like ..., 22 Oct. 2014
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Interesting read about a man who was pitied and persecuted by the peleton for his stance on riding clean. His testing figures put him above people like Armstrong and for his early career he looked like being the next french sensation. However, he resolutely refused to dope and eventually found himself being hated by most of the peleton. Tellingly he would train hard over the winter as he knew his only chance of winning a few races would be in march/april before the main riders started their doping regimes for the spring / summer classics and tours. Once may came around he was resigned to riding at the back of every race. Great that he now works for the french govt as an advisor in antidoping. Recommended.
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5.0 out of 5 stars I have read many cycling books and they are pretty similar to one and another, 9 Oct. 2014
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I have read many cycling books and they are pretty similar to one and another. They are usually written by retired cyclists who don't want to be silent any more about hardship, drugs and sacrifices. I found Christophe Bassons' book brutally honest and I like the fact he never gave in to temptation and stood up to what he believed in. It is an immense shame that even though he had natural talent, he could not shine due to others being doped up to the limit. I enjoyed this book very much and cannot wait to the day when cycling is clear of dope (if that'll ever happen but hope is the last thing to die :-)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb, 29 July 2014
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A compelling read from start to finish, Bassons solidifies his reputation as a man of the utmost integrity. A sporting hero if ever there was one.
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