Re-finding Greatness

Another book review, you say? Well, I did do a lot of reading while I was home for Thanksgiving, because as you know, no TV! This was a book I started a bit ago, but got distracted by library books with deadlines on them.

Tour de Lance, by Bill Strickland, is a fabulous book that follows Lance Armstrong as he comes back to the sport in 2009 after a 4 year absence. Now, Strickland is quite a fan of Armstrong. He says so himself. But he’s not super keen to hear that Armstrong is coming back, as comebacks historically only serve to tarnish the legacy left behind from the first retirement. And, he was looking forward to a new generation of cycling stars! (such as, oh I don’t know, Alberto Contador!) Despite his trepidation at Armstrong’s un-retirement, he decides to chronicle Armstrong’s journey, as an outsider, as objectively as possible.

This is a great book for someone who’s new to the sport, just interested in learning more about how the Tour works, or looking for a different perspective on Armstrong. Unlike The Rider, it was written with cycling novices in mind, and there is a lot of explanation of race tactics, team tactics, race and team politics. However, as the book progresses further into 2009 Tour de France, there is a reflection of Strickland’s increasing  obsession with Armstrong’s success, as Strickland loses some threads started early in book. Not only is there less explanation and description of race tactics, stories of cancer survivors/fighters who relate to or are inspired by Armstrong are forgotten on the sidelines as well. Although I can’t say I minded losing that thread too much, as it doesn’t appeal to me, it is an important part of who Armstrong’s public persona, what he’s done, and the justification for his comeback. (btw, yeah right. He just missed racing- the cancer research and awareness mission was just a good cover. Not that I blame him. When you’ve been competitive since 15, you can’t just turn that off.)

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Is Cycling Doomed? A newcomer’s thoughts.

So. I know there are a million and one blogs out there which deal with cycling already. And while I’ll probably get lost in the shuffle, that isn’t going to stop me from loudly proclaiming my thoughts to the blogosphere.

Very briefly: why I’m writing about cycling..

  • As someone who’s new to the sport of road race cycling, I hope I can bring a new perspective.
  • But mainly I have no one to really discuss cycling with where I am. While I have friends who do cycle, no one follows road racing like I do. And I need some release for my opinions/thoughts!

Why competitive cycling when I don’t even own a bike? (at least not yet) Tour de France, 2010 edition! It was on TV, I had nothing else to watch. Then I realized Andy Schleck was from Luxembourg, which is where my mom’s family is from. And then to my surprise, I realized that competitive cycling didn’t begin and end with the Tour de France. As I wasn’t ready to go cold turkey on cycling, my addiction grew as the season wore on. And here I am.

So onto the opining.

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