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In July 2004, Lance Armstrong will attempt to achieve what no other cyclist has ever done-win a sixth Tour de France. The most grueling athletic event in the world, the Tour de France takes place over 23 days every July across more than 2,000 miles. From punishing mountainous terrain to flat blacktop, cyclists push their bodies to the limit to win the greatest prize in cycling. John Wilcockson is the perfect writer to tell this story-he has covered the Tour de France for the past 35 years. But 23 Days in July will be more than just a day-by-day account of the race. Wilcockson will bring together engaging nuggets of history, set up each day's race with vivid descriptions of the geography, and highlight the mental as well as the physical battle among the four principal contenders-Lance Armstrong, Tyler Hamilton, Jan Ullrich, and Joseba Beloki-with whom he will be in constant contact. Woven into the narrative will be their compelling personal stories, their preparations for the race, and their training regimens, all giving new insight into the human side of the Tour de France. With two 8-page photo inserts by the world's premier cycling photographer, Graham Watson, and featuring interviews with the Tour's only other five-time winners still alive-Belgian Eddy Merckx, Frenchman Bernard Hinault, and Spaniard Miguel Induráin-23 Days in July will capture the rich history, nationalistic fervor, and diverse geographic challenges of the most dramatic athletic event in the world.
Taking place over 23 days in July and across more than 2,100 miles of smooth blacktop, rough cobblestones, and punishing mountain terrain, the Tour de France is the most grueling sports event in the world. And in 2004, five-time champion Lance Armstrong set out to achieve what no other cyclist in the 100-year history of the race had ever done: win a sixth Tour de France. Armstrong had four serious challengers, including the only former Tour de France champion in this past year's race, Germany's Jan Ullrich-the Kaiser-who wanted nothing more than to deny the man the French call Le Boss from achieving his goal. But when the race was over, Lance Armstrong once again wore the yellow jersey of victory.
The definitive life story of the 7-time Tour de France champion and force behind the phenomenally successful LiveStrong campaign No champion has astonished the world quite like Lance Armstrong. A cancer survivor who went on to win the Tour de France an unprecedented seven times, he is an inspiration to millions. Yet few know the complete story of this brash, smart, and fiercely competitive Texan who battled to the top of his sport, overcame the most rampant case of testicular cancer doctors had seen, and then conquered cycling¿s Holy Grail time after time. InLance: The Making of the World¿s Greatest Champion, John Wilcockson draws on dozens of interviews with those who know him best to trace Armstrong¿s remarkable, yet controversial journey in vivid detail. Family members¿including his adoptive father speaking publicly for the first time¿recall Lance¿s humble origins in the backstreets of Dallas, the father he barely knew, his single mom¿s struggle for survival, and her second marriage that brought a move to the suburbs and new opportunities. His childhood friends and early mentors remember how he moved on from Little League baseball and football to excel at swimming, running, and triathlon, while living the life of a teenager who loved fast cars and pretty girls. They also describe the circumstances that eventually led to his taking up cycling. As Lance¿s fierce ambition drove him from the dusty plains of Texas to the snowy peaks of Europe, he was both admired and derided. He intimidated his rivals, earned the respect of his teammates, and astounded everyone with his extraordinary deeds. But his achievements have consistently been dogged by allegations of doping and secrecy, and questions of how triumph on such a grand scale could even be possible. So how did Lance become the supreme champion of his sport? He didn¿t do it alone. His compelling story is intertwined with the stories of those who helped shape his life and career, including his mother Linda, ex-wife Kristin, and one-time fiancée Sheryl Crow, along with those of his mentors, coaches, and friends. Their voices, along with those who helped him expand his cancer foundation into a worldwide movement, are integral to his unique story. Lancealso reveals details, many for the first time, of how Armstrong¿s legendary training, near-fatal bout with cancer, repeated doping allegations, and hostile European media all pushed him to reach the pinnacle of his sport and rightly claim the title of the world¿s greatest champion.
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