23 Days in July
By John Wilcockson
The inside story of the 2004 Tour de France and Lance Armstrong's record-breaking sixth victory.
For twenty-three days in July 2004, an enthralled global audience watched Lance Armstrong battle to victory in the Tour de France. Armstrong had pledged to win a record-breaking sixth consecutive Tour; a feat no one had achieved in the event's 100-year lifetime. But with stiff competition from Jan 'the Kaiser' Ullrich and others his success was by no means guaranteed.
The resulting Tour was riveting as, following a nervous opening week of multiple crashes, Armstrong bulldozed his way to the lead. But the American cyclist is no stranger to single-minded determination. After being diagnosed with cancer in 1996, it took only 518 days before he was back racing, revealing the mental resources that make him a cycling legend.
Veteran cycling writer John Wilcockson uses his intimate knowledge of the participants and interviews with the major players to tell the human side of the Tour from the perspective of the principal contenders. His vivid description of life inside the most challenging and popular sports event in the world draws on an unparalleled knowledge of the Tour.
A graduate of the University of London, John Wilcockson was the first-ever cycling correspondent of The Times, and has reported for that and the Sunday Times for many years. He has edited five different cycling magazines, and is currently the editorial director of the world's leading competitive cycling magazine, VeloNews. For his journalistic services to the Tour de France, Wilcockson was presented with the Medaille de la Reconnaissance and the Plaque de la Reconnaissance du Tour by the race's organisers. In 2004 he reported on the Tour for the 36th time. He has written a dozen books.
- Other details
- Publication date:
06 Jun 2005
- Page count:
A must-read for all cycling fans. — BBC Sport
A fascinating glimpse inside the peloton... — Eastern Daily Press, Max Bennett.
From cancer to cycling superman: is this the greatest story in modern sport? — Guardian
Sport is about the assertion of the will and that makes Armstrong the greatest athlete practising his trade — The Times
Captures the thrill of a race persistently immersed in controversy and rumour. — Irish Times
Fascinating ... Wilcockson manages to penetrate the psychological depths of the race's stars. — British Cycling