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Breaking the Chain: Drugs and Cycling: The True Story (Yellow Jersey Cycling Classics) Paperback – August 9, 2002


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Breaking the Chain: Drugs and Cycling: The True Story (Yellow Jersey Cycling Classics) + Rough Ride: Behind the Wheel With a Pro Cyclist (Yellow Jersey Cycling Classics) + From Lance to Landis: Inside the American Doping Controversy at the Tour de France
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Product Details

  • Series: Yellow Jersey Cycling Classics
  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Random House UK; New Ed edition (August 9, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0224061178
  • ISBN-13: 978-0224061179
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 5.1 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #777,022 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“A moving and spirited account of lying and cheating on behalf of some of the biggest names in cycling.” -- Independent

Breaking the Chain provides a unique account of drug abuse in cycling... a memorable book.” -- New Statesman

Language Notes

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: French --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

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The book is very easy to read.
Yari_pagani
Because of the translation of the book, it is cumbersome to read at times, but for any cycling fan interested in the dark side of the sport, it is a necessary read.
R. Siegenthaler
Pro: A definitive, interesting read.
Leisureman

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By P. Sedun on February 22, 2005
Format: Paperback
This book was a very interesting read. The Festina professional cycling team trainer gets caught at a border checkpoint with his team's drug supply for the upcoming Tour de France - and to no one's surprise, the team doesn't back him up (at least not initially).

The book is translated from French, and even though Voet is not a professional author, it's still better written than most of the professional-athlete biographies I've read - many of which were written by ghost writers anyway. Voet was courageous enough to come forward - even though he was probably financially motivated, to at least some degree, after his team essentially abandoned him when he (i.e. they) got caught. As your riders used to say, "Good stuff, Willy!"
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Best Of All on October 28, 2008
Format: Paperback
It was one of those moments in time that changed the course of a sport. In July 1998, while traveling from Brussels to Belgium, the vehicle that Festina trainer Willy Voet was driving was pulled over by customs inspectors on the Franco-Belgium border. What was found in a routine inspection blew open the dirty secret of the rampant use of performance-enhancing drugs under the direction of team officials.

A concealed storage area inside the vehicle was found with drugs earmarked for use in the Tour de France. Voet was arrested and the Festina cycling team was suspended from the prestigious event. An investigation led to the suspension, arrest and prosecution of a number of riders and team staff members. Voet was ultimately convicted of crimes in this sordid affair, given a ten month suspended sentence and fined, while also being banned from the sport for three years.

In this disturbing insider's account of tainted athletic achievement, Voet - while admitting guilt - places his deeds firmly within the realm of a culture where victory at any cost is the price tag. As unsettling as some sections may be, Voet does not sprint away from the reality of pro cycling or point fingers at others for his misdeeds.

These are vials of truth about the syringes ultimately filled with cheating and lying.
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Format: Paperback
While this is anything but a masterpiece, it's a book that had to be written. A story that had to be told. And judging by the continued show of doping (drug use) in professional cycling, a story that needs to be told repeatedly.

Willy Voet was the trainer for the infamous Festina team who was caught driving over the French border with a carload full of performance enhancing drugs, just before the 1998 Tour de France. Voet at first claimed the drugs were all his. Then, he recanted under pressure, admitting they were for his team. The team dropped out of the Tour, as did many others under police crackdowns, and Voet went to jail for 16 months. When he got out, he forever cemented his career to ruin by spiling his guts in this book (originally in French, "Assembly Line Massacre" - a fitting title). He wrote this very detailed, very disturbing, morbid read of some very sinister goings on. Unfortunately led by himself perhaps most of all. If you want to know most (not all, but most) of the deep, dirty, nasty, evil goings on in professional cycling that is never spoken of, then read this book. In the 6 years since it's publication, sadly not much has changed judging by the frequent positive tests, and admissions of guilt by riders.

There is a negative to this book though. First, while Voet honestly admits what he was doing was wrong, he seems to want to shake some element from his torrid past, like coming clean is a way for forgiveness, yet in reflections in other areas of the book treats much of the cheating he did in his career as matter of fact, almost with amusement, with only fleeting elements of remorse. Honest or not, coming from a man with a rather sinister past, it makes the book hard to read at times.
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By jhg on April 2, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Good to here the tory from someone working at a team. And not the usual cyclist
I can recomend it
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By Amazon Customer on December 5, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Its all about Willy. The book exposes the extent of the accepted nature of performance enhancment in Pro Sport and seems like a confession from Voet who was thrown under the bus.
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By Leisureman on November 24, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
As a sometimes athlete in years past, I harbored many suspicions while watching the TdF. Voet's chronicle bared it all. What is needed now is a 'Breaking The Chain' II, divining current cycling status.

Pro: A definitive, interesting read.
Con: Sometimes difficult to follow timeline.
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By j on November 23, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Straight up read shows the other side of racing. Funny anecdotes thrown in a great book. I love the sport and hope it can come back to normal for the sake of those riders. I would like to see an updated version telling about his experience today.
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By jimmyray8 on October 7, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I read this book while recovering from a broken hip. I spent the previous 3 weeks reading Tyler Hamilton's, Lance Armstrong, Paul Kimmage, Floyd Landis,David Millar (Best one By Far) and one other guy I cant even remember. This was the final one, though poorly written I wanted to hear his first person account just because I had read so many others written from a riders perspective. What an era. I wouldnt recommend this book unless you are like me and want all sides of a situation. It is a poor read but when you are stuck in your bed or couch for a month.....Its sad how crappy things got.
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