The first in-depth look at Lance Armstrong's doping scandal, the phenomenal business success built on the back of fraud, and the greatest conspiracy in the history of sports.
Lance Armstrong won a record-smashing seven Tours de France after staring down cancer, and in the process became an international symbol of resilience and courage. In a sport constantly dogged by blood-doping scandals, he seemed above the fray. Then, in January 2013, the legend imploded. He admitted doping during the Tours and, in an interview with Oprah, described his "mythic, perfect story" as "one big lie". But his admission raised more questions than it answered - because he didn't say who had helped him dope or how he skillfully avoided getting caught.
Wall Street Journal reporters Reed Albergotti and Vanessa O'Connell broke the news at every turn. In Wheelmen they reveal the broader story of how Armstrong and his supporters used money, power, and cutting-edge science to conquer the world's most difficult race. Wheelmen introduces U.S. Postal Service Team owner Thom Weisel, who in a brazen power play ousted USA Cycling's top leadership and gained control of the sport in the United States, ensuring Armstrong's dominance. Meanwhile, sponsors fought over contracts with Armstrong as the entire sport of cycling began to benefit from the "Lance effect". What had been a quirky, working-class hobby became the pastime of the Masters of the Universe set.
Wheelmen offers a riveting look at what happens when enigmatic genius breaks loose from the strictures of morality. It reveals the competitiveness and ingenuity that sparked blood-doping as an accepted practice, and shows how the Americans methodically constructed an international operation of spies and revolutionary technology to reach the top. At last exposing the truth about Armstrong and American cycling, Wheelmen paints a living portrait of what is, without question, the greatest conspiracy in the history of sports.
©2013 Reed Albergotti and Vanessa O'Connell (P)2013 Penguin Audio
I've read or listened to many books on this subject. As an cyclist I idolized Lance for years. If it weren't for him I would probably not have gotten as into the sport as I have and almost certainly wouldn't have started racing. The book is a nice compilation of his story of both winning and his downfall. I've thought for the past 8 years that he had been doping for his whole career, so his admission to that wasn't surprising. The surprising and disappointing part of his story is the collateral damage of so many people whose lives he threatened or ruined. I'd definitely recommend this book to anyone interested in the subject.
Criminal defense Lawyer in Las Vegas, Nevada. Read mostly non-fiction.....history, science, military biography. My quirky side likes Zombie Books? Will also pick up a fiction bestseller once in a while. Favorite movie: Being There
If you want to know what went on behind the scenes during Armstrong's 7 TDF victories, this book does a good job bringing out the facts. It's well organized and give an outsider's view of the details as compiled from the written evidence and participant interviews. You also get to hear about all the people who either facilitated the fraud or fought against it. It's more of a journalists version, and not as "personal" as probably one of the best accounts I've read, Tyler Hamilton's "The Secret Race."
This was a book written by great reporters with knowledge for the sport— Reed Albergotti is a competitive amateur cyclist.The narration suited the book terrifically. It went at just the right pace, with suitable inflections and voices for quotes.
Narrator was ok except pronunciations were not how people normally pronounce them. EX: Hincapie is typically pronounced Hin - CA - pie. . . NOT . . . HIN - cu - pie. Very grating to the ear.
First off, someone should have taught the narrator how to pronounce names and places in the book. Second, most of the information in the book is old news from Lance's books and other sources and the only new info was the last part about the USADA. Third, the book had a strange voice, at one time in ecstasy about Lance's achievements and in the next, mocking. This may have been due to the narrator's poor consistency but it felt like the authors admire Lance but feel snubbed by him and bitter about it. Lastly, if I haven't made it clear, the narrator was a poor choice.
Tempest in a teacup. Are we supposed to feel anguish about professional cyclists doing whatever it takes to win bike races? Come on, find a cause that's worthwhile. And spare me the "I was forced into it" dogma of the other riders. Get a life in the real world.
This book is a broad version of the cycling story of the period, not just Lance's story; although, any book on doping in pro cycling is going to have considerable content on Lance. this is a good book to start with on the topic.
Very good perspective on the smallest players allowing the path of most powerful and protected to run amuck in hopes of their own financial gain.
Job except he doesn't pronounce people's nor place names correctly. Any follower of cycling would know George Hingcape's name, among others, he mispronounced. Plus some of the TdF locations were butchered.
Overall I would recommend this book is you are at all interested in Armstrong's ride and fall.
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