John Wilcockson has reported on the Tour de France for more than forty years. He is the author of 23 Days in July, among other books, and lives in Boulder, Colorado.
Nearly everyone has heard of Lance Armstrong, the imposing bicyclist who overcame testicular cancer and won seven straight (1999-2005) Tour de France races. Wilcockson (23 Days in July: Inside Lance Armstrong's Record-Breaking Tour de France Victory) provides an extensive look at his early life. Armstrong's mother became pregnant with him when she was 16, leading to her marriage to Lance's father, from whom Lance is estranged; he was named after Lance Rentzel of the Dallas Cowboys; Lance's parents came from low-income families and were ill equipped, financially and emotionally, to raise a child. Wilcockson writes of the petty crimes that Lance committed as a juvenile and of how the often unstable domestic environment of his youth would impact his own later short-lived marriage. Through it all, however, Lance became an outstanding athlete, moving from triathlon competitions to concentrating on bike racing. VERDICT Although there are nearly no details of Lance's life provided after 2005, this book offers stories and insights that will make it a popular choice for those who follow Armstrong and/or his sport.-Tim Delaney, SUNY at Oswego Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.