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Team 7-Eleven: How an Unsung Band of American Cyclists Took on the World - and Won Hardcover


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Velo Press; First Edition edition (September 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1934030538
  • ISBN-13: 978-1934030530
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.3 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #583,608 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“The new Team 7-Eleven book brought back great memories.” — Eric Heiden, 5-time Olympic Gold Medalist and Team 7-Eleven cofounder

“[Team 7-Eleven] catalogues every episode, from the colorful characters to the shocking successes, in a methodical chronology of the team's decade-long run.” — Podium Café

“What wonderful and painful memories Och and Geoff brought to life in the new Team 7-Eleven book! From the early ‘Ranch Dog’ days to the Tour de France victories, the stories and level of detail are spot on. Och provided the opportunity for us cowboys to show the world we had the mettle.” — Ron Kiefel, Team 7-Eleven rider

“I greedily read Team 7-Eleven and discovered some new nuances to stories I thought I knew. Drake and Och captured the spirit of the team and brought it back to life.” — Alex Stieda, Team 7-Eleven rider and the first North American to wear the Tour de France yellow jersey

“I thought I knew a lot about the riders and their famous victories, like Andy Hampsten’s remarkable Giro d’Italia win in 1988 and Alex Steida, Jeff Pierce and Davis Phinney’s stage wins in the Tour de France. But [Team 7-Eleven] is so full of fascinating details and behind-the-scenes anecdotes that I couldn’t put it down.” — RoadBikeRider.com

“For me, Geoff and Jim’s book Team 7-Eleven passed that fact-check test. What I didn't expect was that I would get drawn into remembering the amazing bike race battles that Sergent Rock van Och lead us into. And to think that we followed him!” — Tom Schuler, Team 7-Eleven rider

Team 7-Eleven is a true joy to read…It is an essential read if this period of cycling is one that passed you by or one that is before your time.” — TheWashingMachinePost.net

“I thank Geoff Drake for the honest way I think things are written in the book. Team 7-Eleven is very accurate. Drake puts history in a perspective that made me sentimental about what we did as a team. At the time, we didn’t know whether we were part of a vision, an impulse, or a youthful dare!” — George Taylor, 7-Eleven cycling team sports sponsorship agent

“[Team 7-Eleven’s] history is chronicled in great detail. Longtime cycling journo Geoff Drake and Jim Ochowicz (one of the team’s co-founders) highlight the trials and tribulations of putting the team on an international stage.” — NBCSports.com

Team 7-Eleven is a lively, easy read…The kit is iconic, the team was featured in "American Flyers" and at this point are not only an important piece of cycling history, but a slice of Americana as well.” — NYVelocity.com

“The [Team 7-Eleven] book is rich in details, well-paced and very entertaining…Team 7-Eleven is an excellent addition to the history of the sport.” — Pezcyclingnews

Team 7-Eleven is a must-read for anyone who wants to know more about the history of U.S. racing and how the groundwork was established for the eventual domination of Lance Armstrong and the current crop of top U.S. pros.” — RoadBikeRider.com

“The Team 7-Eleven book is an essential history for anyone who has ever swung a leg over the top tube of a racing …Of note, though, is how gratifying the actual reading of the book has been. For a book gourmand such as your author, Drake serves up fine writing fare by the fork full.” — Le Grimpeur

From the Back Cover

You could count America's world-class cyclists on one hand in 1980. Yet within a few short years, the 7-Eleven cycling team launched the superstar careers of Davis Phinney, Ron Kiefel, Andy Hampsten, Bob Roll, and many more. From humble beginnings in a Pennsylvania barn to soaring victories in the French Alps, Team 7-Eleven is the remarkable story of how two cycling fans found one exceptional sponsor and changed the world of cycling forever. “A true joy to read; it's very difficult to put down.” —TheWashingMachinePost.net“An overdue look at the constructing of the first American team to compete overseas.” —NYVelocity.com“Rich in details, well-paced and very entertaining . . . an excellent addition to the history of the sport.” —Pezcyclingnews“Essential history for anyone who has ever swung a leg over the top tube of a racing bike. . . . Drake serves up fine writing fare by the fork full.” —Le GrimpeurForewords by Eric Heiden and Eddy Merckx
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
5 star
21
4 star
11
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4
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6
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See all 42 customer reviews
Drake's book is a quick read.
Phil Barton
The Europeans of the day would of course have a different view of 7-Eleven but that's the fun of writing your own story.
Nicholas Hutton
This is a must read for anyone interested in cycling as a competitor or a recreational cyclist.
Mad Monk

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Mark on January 16, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Author Geoff Drake's prose shines, as you would expect from the former editor of Bicycling magazine, but overall the book under-delivers on what should be a fascinating tale.

Did the team's former PR department write this? Time after time, interesting topics are introduced but not developed.

A rider is described as "occasionally troubled" but that is never explained. We learn that the Tour of Texas race week was a "smorgasbord of physical indulgences," but no more is said. Andy Hampsten spends the winter of 87-88 at a "survivalist boot camp," but we learn nothing about what was done at the camp, who ran it, or even where it was. Bob Roll was, by all other accounts, a bad-boy walking storybook, but the only anecdote about this key rider is a trivial remark emphasizing his team-player mentality.

Every rider is talented. Everyone does his best. Everyone gets along. Please! Nothing in real life is this syrupy.

Jim Ochowicz, the team's founder and manager, certainly deserves praise for his vision and tenacity. But placing him at the center of the narrative, and coating page after page with continuous, hyperbolic praise of his personal background and managerial genius, puts a non-racing character in the middle of the story and robs the book of potential drama.

The book really breaks down where it should shine brightest--the team's foray into European cycling. A timid and incomplete narrative fills the books final chapters.

As the team goes to Europe, an Italian sponsor brings a young doctor, Massimo Testa, aboard. Much is made of Andy Hampsten's initial resistance--though suffering from an intestinal illness--to getting an "electrolyte" IV from Doctor Testa. Eventually Andy agrees after being shown the bottle's label.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By C. Harnish on November 28, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I reviewed this for my podcast (ESP Podcast) and enjoyed the history of the book, but I would generally agree with the 3 star reviews here. I found the book disjointed at times, often repeating itself in spots. I also feel that it does a great job filling in details from the 1970's to 1986, but just falls flat after that. It lacked a lot of the meat in those years. So why not 3 stars? I think that anyone looking for the backstory of Team 7-Eleven, especially those who were inspired to take up racing or by the team while racing, it is worth the read. If you know most of the whole story, then I would save your money.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Marlborough on January 1, 2012
Format: Hardcover
There was American pro cycling before the Lance Armstrong era, and if you want to know about it, here's your passport.

From Eric Heiden to Andy Hampsten, Ron Kiefel, Alex Stieda, Davis Phinney, Chris Carmichael, and Bob Roll, all the members of the first American cycling team to make it in European professional cycling are here, orchestrated by Jim Ochowicz. Eddy Merckx and Greg LeMond appear, along with other members of the peloton interacting with the 7-Eleven team.

The writing flows smoothly, holds your attention, and there are plenty of quotes from the riders. This history is personal: it's about the riders, rather than the abstract forces of cycling history. Some nice photographs as well.

You can read it in a few hours, and you may well go back and leaf through for favorite passages from time to time.

When you finish this book, you'll certainly know a lot more about where all these people in cycling came from.

Six stars!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By FLY on October 5, 2011
Format: Hardcover
A great insight into the genius of Ochowitz. After reading this, it's no surprise in seeing how he's built BMC to what it was this year and what it will be next year.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Bob on September 27, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Well written by someone who has racing experience and reporting on it. I especially liked the character development of the riders and the details of the lives of competitive cyclists. Very dramatic and hard to put down.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By SWaithe on April 3, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Geoff Drake spends too much time on the build up with far too many repeated topics in the first few chapters. Once we get to the chapters where the team is up and running the book fleshes out nicely. There is great detail regarding the intracacies of running a bike team and behind the scenes info on potential transfers and the teams biggest wins in Europe. Where Drake shines is in providing the details of lauding the sponsor and then convincing them to take the big step into Europe.

However, Drake makes the glaring mistake of stating that Davis Phinney's win in the 1988 Coors Classic was the teams first win in its most sought after race on home soil. Given that the correct statistic is that Raul Alcala won the race for 7 Eleven in 1987, leading a team clean sweep, this error is unforgivable. The book is a decent read but perhaps only because there are no other books written on the subject matter.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Andrew C on March 18, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Great read for cycling fans, especially those who can remember Eric Heiden and the 7/11 guys. Alex Stieda's yellow jersey and other great moments from (just) before EPO and other drugs changed things. Some classy riders from this time were on the team and the book had good collaboration from them, so things are first hand and informative. Absolutely, read it!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By CR on February 4, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Quick, fun read that I thoroughly enjoyed. I thought I already knew most of the story of team 7-Eleven having followed them directly during their prime. I did not. No spoiler, but the brief section covering Lemond was news to me. There are some good color photos in this -- if you have only an e-ink Kindle, you won't see them in full detail. Fortunately, I was also able to view them on the Kindle reader on my iPad. I wish it was longer and more detailed in a few areas, but would still strongly recommend to anyone interested.
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