It's Not About the Bike

First Person

  • 30 Sep - 06 Oct, 2017
  • Mag The Weekly
  • Time Out

Lance Armstrong with Sally Jenkins is one of the most remarkable books about sports and life that has come along in a long while, for it will definitely move you. The pro cyclist was already a professional triathlete and was training with the U.S. Olympic cycling developmental team by the time he was in his senior year in high school. He was certainly the number one cyclist in the world in 1996, when terrible pain weakened him.

He had testicular cancer that spread to his lungs and brain, and doctors predicted his chances of survival as being very slim. By taking the most aggressive kind of chemotherapy and submitting to three major surgeries to get at tumours, Armstrong was declared cancer-free by 1997. In 1999, the racer referred to as "The Golden Boy of American Cycling" surprised the world by winning the Tour de France and setting a new record for speed. What he did ranks among the greatest comebacks in the history of sports. But it was more than that.

The book is truly as its sub-title declares - about Lance Armstrong's journey back to life. In all, this is a remarkable memoir filled with the kind of macho voice one would expect from a lanky kid from Plano, Texas who was raised by a tough single parent.