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Wheelmen: Lance Armstrong, the Tour de France, and the Greatest Sports Conspiracy Ever Hardcover – October 15, 2013


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Wheelmen: Lance Armstrong, the Tour de France, and the Greatest Sports Conspiracy Ever + Cycle of Lies: The Fall of Lance Armstrong + The Loyal Lieutenant: Leading Out Lance and Pushing Through the Pain on the Rocky Road to Paris
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Gotham; 1St Edition edition (October 15, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1592408486
  • ISBN-13: 978-1592408481
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.2 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (308 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #61,758 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Authoritative and overflows with forceful details….Albergotti and O'Connell write like insiders looking out."
Los Angeles Times

"A chilling tale, and many of the anecdotes Albergotti and O’Connell collected sound like they were actually crafted in a TV-drama writers’ room."
The Atlantic

"Reed Albergotti and Vanessa O’Connell uncovered plenty more shocking details about the full extent of Armstrong’s drug use as well as the many people and institutions that helped him."
The Daily Beast

"The most comprehensive book on the subject … a colorful and thorough retelling."
USA Today

"Captivating . . . a level-headed view of the culture and business of cycling."
The Economist

"The book is rich in details, facts, and figures."
Velo News

"Wheelmen is all the truth-and-reconciliation the sport needs."
The Philadelphia Review of Books
 
"The only thing ever missing was the truth. In Wheelmen, we get it."
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

"A detailed account of Armstrong's eventual descent into disgrace."
The Guardian (UK)
 
"The definitive book on Armstrong."
The Montreal Gazette

About the Author

Reed Albergotti is a white-collar crime reporter for The Wall Street Journal. He is also the son of a fanatic amateur cyclist who served as the director of cycling competition in the 1984 Olympics. An accomplished bike racer himself, Reed speaks the sport’s odd language.

Vanessa O'Connell, an award-winning reporter at The Wall Street Journal for seventeen years, has covered tobacco, alcohol, guns, insider trading, and the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. She has a knack for exposing the nature of corporate America and how it sometimes manipulates the score in making its money.


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Customer Reviews

Written very well.
Raypep
For those with only a passing interest in cycling but a greater interest in the Lance Armstrong story, this is an excellent first read.
Fred Hoffman
I enjoyed the book very much and though I read all the other Armstrong books and thought I knew all about him, I still learned more.
Raymond Crowell

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

57 of 63 people found the following review helpful By Twndggys on October 19, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
As a sports fan but not really a biking fan, I followed Armstrong with admiration and pride. How could you not. But I obviuosly did not appreciate the magnitude of his repeated success in the Tour de France and ultimately the PR apparatus and it's enablers had me fooled like millions of others. This book explains why we were all suckers. I can't think of another sport that this con could have been pulled off in such a systematic and morally void manner at all levels. I don't know what to think of Armstrong. It's hard to square his positives and negatives, as an incredibly dedicated super athlete, inspirational cancer surviver, fundraiser and by account good father versus the pathological cheat, narcistic playboy and ruthless protector of his reputation, including his willingness to crush his detractors. Even sympathetic co-conspirator Floyd Landis was responsible for his own fall and you could say that the sport, the sponsors and participants deserved their reckoning. The author is right to show that money was the linchpin of this tale of deceit, but vanity and ego are a close second. The author did his homework and the story flows well from chapter to chapter. There are so many characters it's hard to keep track but it doesn't take your eye off the real subject. Everyone in the college or pro level of any sport in any capacity, sponser, coach, etc, should read this book. It's a sad story all around.
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68 of 82 people found the following review helpful By Neurasthenic TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 24, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
This is an amazing period for cycling fans who followed the ascendance of Lance Armstrong and Tyler Hamilton and Floyd Landis in the 1990s and 2000s and marveled as they were discredited and fell from grace, condemned as cheaters. For those reading on the topic, the first great text is the USADA's own report on cheating at the U.S. Postal team. It's vivid, detailed, shocking (or was when it was released), and freely available online. Then came Tyler Hamilton's book, The Secret Race, which describes his own decision to cheat and how it all fell apart. If you are going to read only one book on this topic, Hamilton's is so far the best. Now we get Wheelmen, by two reporters from the Wall Street Journal. The last in this round will probably be Cycle of Lies: The Fall of Lance Armstrong by Juliet Mancur of the New York Times. That one comes out next year.

These books overlap each other, and a reader might reasonably wonder whether or not it makes sense to read more than one. For me, the answer is very much yes. The USADA report is amazing as a primary source. Hamilton's book gives additional, vivid detail including an extended discussion of how and why great riders chose to cheat, and what it felt like when they did. It also provides some color on Thomas Wiesel, Chris Carmichael, and other players in the doping story who were not discussed in the USADA report because they weren't directly involved. Wheelmen, by contrast, purports to be about the "business" of Lance Armstrong and his doping conspiracy.

What's good? Lots of research, very strong conclusions.
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51 of 61 people found the following review helpful By City Girl on October 15, 2013
Format: Hardcover
I read this book and found it to be a completely gripping and fascinating story. At this point whether Lance did it or didn't is well known, but how he did it, how he got away with it and the inner circle that helped him perpetrate it, are revealed in great detail here. A portrait of Armstrong emerges that is more complex than previously established but what really grabbed me was the conspiracy narrative.
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26 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Michael L. Hagood on October 24, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Simply stated, this is an absolutely terrific book that reads more like a novel than non-fiction.

For those who think they know the story I think that you will be surprised. My reaction to this book is the same as to the Steve Jobs biography written by Walter Issacson, which my mother gave me as a gift about a year ago. I was a little concerned when I got it because I thought I knew enough about Jobs, Apple, PC industry history etc. for it to not be interesting. Of course, I was wrong because Issacson tells us all a lot of things that we didn't know about the man. In that regard, this book is similar in that there is much more depth and breadth to this story than I ever knew. I will give the reviewers who claim they learned nothing new the benefit of the doubt, but unless they were somewhere part of the inner workings of the cycling world in a profound way, it is hard to believe that this could be possible.

The authors piece together the history of this "conspiracy" by starting at the beginning and introducing the main characters that get the ball rolling. What is surprising is how the characters change but the "character" of Lance Armstrong really doesn't as his career ascends. From living here in Texas I knew to some degree what a jerk Armstrong was - anybody paying attention could tell that he was as ruthless as a mob boss in trying intimidate people who were working with the investigators responsible for his case based on the things that came out over the last couple of years.
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