A riveting day-by-day account of the 2004 Tour de France and Lance Armstrong's unprecedented sixth victory-by the man "widely considered to be the best cycling writer in the U.S." (USA Today) Taking place over twenty-three days in July and across ...
oss more than 2,100 miles of smooth blacktop, rough cobblestones, and punishing mountain terrain, the Tour de France is the most grueling sports event in the world. And in 2004, five-time champion Lance Armstrong set out to achieve what no other cyclist in the 100-year history of the race had ever done: win a sixth Tour de France.
Armstrong had four serious challengers who wanted nothing more than to deny the man the French call Le Boss from achieving his goal. The major threat among them was the only other former Tour de France champion in this year's race, Germany's Jan Ullrich-The Kaiser. But there were also Armstrong's former teammate the ill-fated Tyler Hamilton, the talented young Italian Ivan Basso, and the Basque with movie-star looks Iban Mayo.
When the race was over, Lance Armstrong once again wore the yellow jersey of victory.
23 Days in July is much more than a day-by-day recap of each stage in this historic Tour. Renowned cycling writer John Wilcockson serves up engaging pieces of race history with vivid descriptions of locales-from the Alps to the Pyrenees to Paris-as he describes the mental as well as physical battle between Armstrong, Ullrich, Hamilton, Basso, and Mayo. Woven into the narrative are the compelling personal stories of Armstrong and his major competitors and an insider's look at their pre-Tour strategy and training regimens, all lending new insight into the human side of the Tour de France. And the book places Armstrong's extraordinary achievement in an historic perspective through interviews with the legendary Belgian cyclist Eddy Merckx, the man who came closest to winning six Tours before Armstrong; the Tour de France race director Jean-Marie Leblanc; and Armstrong's personal coach Chris Carmichael.
23 Days in July unforgettably captures the personal passion, rich history, diverse geography, and nationalistic fervor of the world's most demanding, rigorous, and dramatic athletic event.