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We Might As Well Win: On the Road to Success with the Mastermind Behind a Record-Setting Eight Tour de France Victories Hardcover – June 4, 2008
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About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
When I heard Johan Bruyneel was writing a book, I thought it would be more directed towards business professionals. A "how to get ahead" type mantra.
I was pleasantly surprised to find that that is not this book!
Johan Bruyneel writes a clean, well formed, clear picture of the professional peloton during his years as a rider, and then as DS for the US Postal and Discovery Channel Pro Cycling teams. In this book, you find that, as a rider, Johan was a looker. He kept a close eye on other riders in the peloton. He sized them up, if you will. In this book, Johan Bruyneel encapsulates what he "took in" while "checking out the scene", and candidly shares his findings with the reader.
He then explains why this is so important in the shaping of Lance Armstrong with specific race examples. The reader will understand that while, yes, luck does play a part in winning not only one Grand Tour, but 7 in a row, a well though out, meticulous game plan is the key to success.
This book takes you back to specific stages - specific climbs - and opens a window for you to see what actually was going on between Johan, Lance and the other 8 riders riding le Tour. It is like you were able to listen in on the race radio. Some pretty funny things are said on that radio!
You will find the meaning behind the thought "We Might As Well Win". You will also find that you can apply that to your own daily life - regardless of what you do.
Think Bobke, but more tactical, more precise.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I know Johan Bryuneel has hundreds, if not thousands more stories in his head. Should he ever decide to write them down, I will be one of many in line to get my copy.
So get your copy. Have a quick, easy read, and see if you knew what was really going on, say in the 1999 Tour de France Alpe d'Heuz stage. Was Armstrong spent? Was he giving it his all? Was he holding back? How much did he have left in his tank at the base of that climb?
Well, you will just have to read the book and find out.
In this book Bruyneel describes the strategies behind a winning team (and he makes it clear that it's very much a team effort to win the Tour de France). He talks about how a team can control the race, when they should let breakaways go and when they need to chase them down, how they can play the mind game with other teams, the different skillsets that individual riders within a winning team need to have and countless more insights into the world of cycling. I was reading this book during the 2008 Tour and it made me appreciate far more the way that team CSC were approaching the race and why they did some of the things that they did. Very, very interesting.
I didn't like the way that the book jumps about in time as required to provide support to the points that Bruyneel is making. For example, Chapter 6 talks about the 2001 tour, Chapter 7 talks about the 1999 tour and Chapter 11 talks about the tour in 2000. While Bruyneel makes it clear at the outset that he hasn't set out to write an autobiography, the book would have been more interesting (and easy to follow) if he'd kept things in chronological order.
Bruyneel talks several times about the use of performance enhancing drugs and how they have affected the sport. He is adamant that Armstrong never took them, although I found it interesting that he talks at one point about how he deliberately had Armstrong lose a stage that he could have won, in part because "if we won again, so quickly, I could foresee...accusations of doping".
He also describes the immense amount of time and money that goes into finetuning the bikes and equipment: money is no object if it converts into a few precious seconds saved on the race.
This is an easy and very interesting read for anyone who's interested in the Tour de France.
An excellent cycling book, definitely gets a podium spot on my bookshelf!