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From Lance to Landis: Inside the American Doping Controversy at the Tour de France Hardcover – 7 Jan 2013
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About the Author
David Walsh is chief sports writer with The Sunday Times (London). A four-time Irish Sportswriter of the Year and a three-time U.K. Sportswriter of the Year, he is married with seven children and lives in Cambridge, England. He is co-author of L.A. Confidential: The Secrets of Lance Armstrong.
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Top Customer Reviews
Over the years the types of dynamite have changed. In the 1930s chemists synthesized amphetamines and racers soon learned how they could help and harm. Tom Simpson died in 1967 from the effects of dehydration, diarrhea and amphetamine overdose.
In the 1970s, the overuse of corticoids nearly killed 2-time Tour winner Bernard Thévenet. When he went public with his misdeeds, explaining that his use of steroids was the usual practice in the peloton, he received abuse from his sponsor, the public and his fellow riders.
In the 1990s EPO made doping necessary if a racer wanted to win. Riders like Marco Pantani and Bjarne Riis ran their hematocrits to a nearly lethal 60%. Any racer wishing to compete with these men and their like were forced to either stick the needle in their arms or retire. This is not just my guess. Many racers from that era (Andy Hampsten, for one) have gone public with how the sport was transformed by a drug that could dramatically improve a racer's power output.
Today, with a reliable test for EPO available, racers have gone on to new strategies, including old-fashioned blood doping. The best racers can spend over $100,000 a year on both the drugs and the technical expertise to avoid detection.Read more ›
Read Armstrong's denials and some of the reviews on this page and you do realise how unwilling we have become, as a society, to accept that our heroes can be less than perfect. This book shows that LA was far from saintly but an amazing and fascinating human and athlete all the same. Its clear from this book though that modern cycling and sport as a whole are a serious mess and we need to have a serious rethink about the celeb money-culture that dominates them.
Being a keen amatuer cyclist, I am well aware of what goes on in the professional peleton and it upsets me to hear people defend Lance Armstorng or any other cyclist for that matter who has tested positive. This for me is the root of the problems in cycling, nobody wants to knows, everyone is happy to turn a blind eye. People like Greg Lemond, Paul Kimmage and David Walsh should be listened to by all, the work they have done has often landed them in hot water and on the receiving end of much critism, but someone has to try and turn the tide.
This book is not all anti-Lance, for me it's more a story beginning with where cycling really began going south almost 20 years ago and where it has come since then. It describes how the best in the game abused the trust of their supporters and exposes the dirty truth of what cycling has become.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would recommend it to anyone curious about what really goes on in the professional peleton.
As a casual cycling fan enamoured, like many, of "Le Tour" I had long been curious about the depth of the antagonism between Lance Armstrong and the French press. As an innocent bystander I struggled to understand the intensity and longevity of a cold war punctuated by Armstrong's vehement insistence on never having failed a drugs test against an apparently orchestrated campaign of rumour and innuendo. The question, I always wondered, was whether there was actually a smoking gun.
Viewed from a completely neutral point of view, but with a good deal of hindsight, the basic facts about doping in cycling during late 1990's to 2000's, the period where Armstrong reigned supreme, seem very simple:
* It was a period of revolution in drug use and in particular in the use of EPO, a blood supplement which, unlike many previous alternatives such as steroids or even human growth hormone, produced an immediate and directly measurable improvement in performance by directly allowing users to absorb greater proportions of their oxygen intake and thus directly allowing more efficient use of the muscles
* EPO was, at the time undetectable in any doping tests.
Taken together, the clear inference here is that during this period cyclists could administer EPO with impunity (other than significantly increased risk of heart attack and stroke).Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Interesting and well researched story about the doping misery in cycling with a focus on Armstrong and US Postal. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Markus Frey
Well written but no surprises here. If anyone missed the story this is a good book to read.Published on 11 Aug. 2014 by Miss Colleen Newton
I read this after Tyler Hamilton's book and I think it is good to have read both. This book gives a detailed overview of doping in cycling as a whole and Tyler's book gives... Read morePublished on 30 July 2014 by jawho
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