Okay so I finished the 23 Days in July book. I am almost willing to bet that the author had no idea this book was going to be about Lance Armstrong when he started it. How could he have possibly known Armstrong would win? This shows along the way as the book really is a lot less about Fancy Pants Lance than it is about the race as a whole, which is kind of nice. I am almost willing to bet that the publishng deal was in the can before the race ever started, and after the fact they decided to spin up the Lance factor to help sell more copies. I’m not bugging out on them for that…it’s smart business, especially since he DID win. But the book has a lot more than just info about Lance’s tour.
Also, just like the racers in the competition, the author seems to get pretty tired near the end. You really want there to be a big giant inspirational moment, but instead you get a realistic view of the team tactics that were applied in the Alps, which is pretty much where the race was won. There weren’t even any big fluctuations in the standings until those stages. The big inspirational moment never materializes. Instead it comes off more like, “okay our strategy worked and we are glad the work is almost over”. Lance seems a whole lot superhuman when you are clued in to how much of the load the domestiques carry.
Would I recommend reading the book? Yes. If you are someone who can sit through the coverage of a flat stage on Versus and find it enjoyable, then you will get a LOT out of this book. In fact, if there were ever a time to read this book, it would be now, before this years race. I can say for sure that knowing what I know now will make watching this year be a lot more interesting. Also, I am really thinking ol Lance may not pull it off.