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Chasing Lance: The 2005 Tour de France and Lance Armstrong's Ride of a Lifetime (with 20 photos included) Hardcover – December 1, 2005

3.8 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Perfect to get you amped up about the season ahead . . . excellent insight into life behind the ropes at the Tour." -- Chris Brewer, ThePaceline.com

A bike racer mustn’t forget the random absurdities, insults, and delights the open road hurls at you. Martin Dugard hasn't. -- Bob Roll

About the Author

Martin Dugard is the "New York Times "bestselling author of several books of history. He and his wife live in Southern California with their three sons.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company; First Edition edition (December 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316166235
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316166232
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,662,943 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Harry Simmon on February 23, 2006
Format: Hardcover
One expects a respected author like Martin Dugard to cover the sporting event of the 2005 tour thoroughly and interestingly. But the bonus in "Chasing Lance" is Dugard's magnificently reasoned and masterfully written reason why Lance has transcended sport to become an international icon.

One later chapter is great travel writing. Dugard parallels his process of self-discovery of why HE is chasing Lance with a description of his first-time visit to Lourdes. He interweaves his two thought trains so skillfully that when he finishes his tour of the grotto and winds up his personal and painful train of remembrance and reason, I was gifted with a new insight about myself. The chapter brought me through Lance's struggles to not only renew my appreciation for my cancer surviving wife, but also to see my own dreams and struggles, however meager, in both a more realistic light, and at the same time an even brighter one.

At the time of Armstrong's record 7th straight Tour win, I heard a major American TV business news anchor scoff at Armstrong's advertising appeal saying, "Hey, come on, it's BICYCLE racing!" as if no one cares much about it, not like baseball, for instance. But Dugard convinces the reader (like we needed convicing) that the Lance personna is far bigger than the man--and almost everywhere. What Dugard does so well is not only to describe both the race and the phenomenon, but what it is in US that causes us to hold the IDEA of Lance so special.

So far, Lance has published two volumes of autobiography and his mother's memoirs are also available. Beyond these, teammate Michael Barry offers us a look "Inside the Postal Bus" and outdoor writer Daniel Coyle tracks Lance's 2004 season and the genesis of his darker moods in "Lance Armstong's War".
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Format: Hardcover
It's hard to not appreciate what journalists must go through when covering the three grand cycling tours of Europe, especially the largest Tour de France. Add to that the announced retirement of the sport's most successful Tour de France rider in history and the coverage of the event is even greater. It's more than three weeks of every day starting in one place, then having to travel 100 or so miles away to beat really fast cyclists through traffic of centuries-old towns and villages if you want to see the finish. More often than not, the journalists skip one (usually the beginning) and watch it on TV from the end. Naturally, the story has Lance Armstrong as its focus and includes some fascinating tales of this and past races, but you could get that from any other sports book on the event. I bumped this up to four stars because of the journalism angle. Covering this event with daily stories has to be one of the most difficult assignments in sports. It's not the intended center of the book's storyline, but it's what allowed me to give it a recommendation.
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Format: Hardcover
Whether you've had the opportunity to witness the excitement and spectacle of the Tour de France in person, or have always dreamed of doing so, this book is the definitive word on the experience. Granted a coveted all-access pass to the Tour, Martin Dugard takes us on a thrill ride from the Prologue on the shores of Fromentine through the mammoth peaks of the Alps and Pyrenees and on to the finish on the hallowed Parisian cobbles of the Champs. The thing that makes this book so different from any previous works on Lance or the Tour is the way Dugard paints a vivid picture of the French people and places, fans from around the world, and most importantly of the man himself - Lance Armstrong. If you want to re-live your own personal Tour excursion (as my wife and I did), or have always wondered what it would be like - it's all here. As Martin takes us with him in his trusty Citroen along the roads and goat trails of France, you can almost smell the burning clutch as he conquers the Galibier; and you can almost taste the food as he enticingly describes a late-night meal at a rustic inn. Mixed in with his adventuresome stories are very interesting bits of history on the towns and the regions. He also effectively illustrates why the Tour has become the greatest sporting event in the world. Best of all, it's a very up close and personal view of Lance on his farewell Tour. Never before has a book so succinctly captured the spirit of the world's greatest athlete and his incredible life that has inspired hundreds of thousands - if not millions - of followers to travel across an ocean (like my wife and I) just for a glimpse of this man who simply loves to ride a bicycle. Quite simply, it's a must-read that you won't be able to put down. Se magnifique!
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Format: Hardcover
Marty Dugard does a great job capturing the ambience of this amazing race in print. I've been to the last 10 Tours and what I remember most about my trips to France are the kinds of episodes Mr. Dugard shares with his readers in this book. For those who love the race, it's more than just 189 guys in tight pants crawling up the Galibier; it's the countryside and the food and the spectators and the publicity caravan and 342 days of looking forward to the next Tour. Dugard captures all of it. I'll be there again this year and CHASING LANCE has already got me stoked.
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