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From Lance to Landis: Inside the American Doping Controversy at the Tour de France Hardcover – June 26, 2007


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From Lance to Landis: Inside the American Doping Controversy at the Tour de France + Seven Deadly Sins: My Pursuit of Lance Armstrong
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books; First Edition edition (June 26, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 034549962X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345499622
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.3 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (78 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #656,307 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

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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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

63 of 67 people found the following review helpful By Bill McGann on January 26, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Midway through the third stage of the 1924 Tour de France, Henri Pélissier (winner of the 1923 Tour) abandoned. Journalist Albert Londres found him drinking hot chocolate at a train station restaurant. The interview Pélissier gave is still important. After explaining what the suffering racers endured he showed Londres the various pills and potions he took to both improve his performance and mitigate his misery. "We run on dynamite," he said.

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.
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46 of 49 people found the following review helpful By Wayne Joseph Merback on September 21, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I read this book in one 15-hour sitting. Utterly engrossing. I had heard all of the rumors about Betsy Andreu, Emma O'Reilly, Prentice Steffen, Stephen Swart, etc. But nothing prepared me for the IM conversation between Jonathan Vaughters and Frankie Andreu. If you are left with any doubts about the pervasiveness of doping in cycling, or of Lance Armstrong's participation in said doping, after reading that conversation, you are either one of two things: 1. In complete denial, whether due to a heartfelt connection with Lance or extreme Americentrism, or 2. Connected to Lance financially. For that is the final lesson here: it's all about the money. I have read both of Lance's books and Floyd's book. Not one stands up to the challenge when confronted with Walsh's investigation. He has made a convert out of me.
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34 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Paul T on August 21, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Being a serious cycling fan from the 80's, I strayed away from the sport around 1991 and never read or watched a single minute of coverage again until 2002 when I began following the Tour de France again. But now (in 2002) something was different: I remembered this race being about the grueling faces of riders struggling to climb mountains, but these guys were now flying up long mountain passes looking like machines - they usually weren't even breathing through their mouths.

Something wasn't right about all of this, but I just placed it into the back of my mind and sort of got halfway caught up in all of the Lance hoopla. Now, this book "From Lance to Landis" has explained everything: how doping took on a huge increase with the introduction of the drug r-EPO in the early 90's, and how it transformed the sport in the 90's and 2000's.

There is so much circumstantial evidence in this book that it leads one to ask the question, "just what is a smoking gun, anyway?" The evidence against Lance and Landis is overwhelming. When this much smoke exists, do we really need to see the gun? Then again, don't we see the gun itself with regards to the '99 Tour? How is that not a smoking gun? Anytime a 'procedure' exists anywhere in life, it can be brought into question by simply "questioning the procedure" - this is why the dopers will always have somewhere to put the blame regardless of how guilty they may be.

It is of interest to note Armstrong's official response to this book as found on his website. Lance continually tries to beat home the idea that of his 600+ acquaintances through his years of cycling, only 2 have come forward and spoken against Lance (the Andreu's).
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Alan Havir on August 23, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I didn't want to read this book and didn't want to know that to win or stay in the bike race a person had to cheat. David makes a great case for the cancer of the sport that's been around since photosynthesis. Someone asked me what I thought. I said, "you have to read it to begin to grasp something we don't want to know about". He reveals an ugly side of being human and the cruelty toward others who strive for higher ideals. I am dissapointed in my sports heros. Thanks David for the peak behind the curtains. Now I understand why the Germans pulled out of the TV coverage this year. This is a must read for the sports world.
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful By M. Devitt on July 23, 2007
Format: Hardcover
It amazes me that so many people are willing to believe that Lance and Tyler are innocent of the charges made against them. Mr. Walsh does a very good job of putting the flesh on the bones of the evidence against these two athletes.

As a life-long diehard fan of pro cycling and a former medical team member of a major international UCI event I had heard some of these same stories before, from some of the same sources Mr. Walsh cites. I never knew what to make of them, but it is interesting how it all comes together with multiple sources in this text.

Anyone who thinks that Lance was clean in his seven TDF victories needs to read chapter 19 of this book. It completely debunks the urban legends about "how Lance changed after cancer". He clearly cheated, plain and simple.

Think what you will, but if Jonathon Vaughters and Frankie Andreu are to be believed in a candid moment between them Lance and his posse have pulled off one of the most disgusting acts of fraud in all of sport. Too many people have a vested (i.e.financial) interest in making sure the "legend of Lance" keeps being repeated. Thanks to Mr. Walsh, and others, who refuse to drink the Kool Aid.
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