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The two even talked private matters. Yet, after the Festina affair and Armstrong's first Tour de France victory, the "friends" grew apart, as Whittle refused to endorse without questioning. Staying true to his principles, the British sports writer became alienated with how Armstrong chose to manage his career. Carefully selecting journalists he would talk to - those who had become part of his 'Entourage' - Armstrong defended his relationship with Michele Ferrari, the ominous Italian 'preparatore', against the rest of the Tour de France press room, which included such anti-doping crusaders as David Walsh and Pierre Ballester, the authors of LA Confidentiel , and retired pro Paul Kimmage.

Still strung out

At some point during his repetitive journey around France, Whittle had to take a stance. He realised he could no longer be the admirative sports writer he once set out to be, but needed to face up to the realities of the corporate machine pro cycling truly was, and its inherent flaws. The heroes and idols of his adolescence made way to real, vulnerable persons - such as Greg Lemond, whose conflict with Armstrong, according to Whittle, comes from his honest desire to clean up the sport. Whittle also draws a personal portrait of fallen but redempted star David Millar, with whom he still has close ties.

He describes the psychology of doping and how its culture has invaded the sport to the root. He explains the 'omerta', an unwritten rule within the cycling circus prohibiting and condemning those who 'spit into the soup', who recognize and denounce doping.

ISBN 13: 9780224080224

Ultimately, Whittle chose to stick to ethics - a choice that provided him with some "bad blood". But contrary to its rather blunt title, the book is quite a sensitive one. Reading it stirred up some thoughts on the philosophy of doping as such and provided for some late night discussions. Is cheating or doping intrinsic to our society? Have we not all cheated or lied, at some point or another? Do the little lies we live with everyday - copying off our classroom neigbour at school, speeding on the motorway, desperately trying to reduce our tax bill But who are we to tell our sports role models how to live their lives if we are not being perfect examples, too?

Especially the people actively involved in cycling - where does our responsibility begin? This is where Whittle's story is especially insightful. It describes the mechanisms of the Tour de France press room, and how even journalists prefer to close their eyes on the obvious for fear of possibly losing the source of their income. I felt I couldn't take any more abuse of my intelligence. I began to feel like an accomplice, like I was defending the indefensible. Sitting in Michael Rasmussen's press conferences at last year's Tour, listening to him tie himself in knots with his lies, was so pathetic.

It was the straw that broke the camel's back. It just made me mad because it was such an insult to people's intelligence. Towards the end of the book, Whittle summed up the paradox of doping within sport in a simple, yet very intelligent way: "We love sport, not for its certainties, but for its uncertainties. But uncertainty is of no use to a doper. Content Protection.

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Books by Jeremy Whittle

Paul Kimmage. An eye-opening expose of and a heart-breaking lament for professional cycling Paul Kimmage's boyhood dreams were of cycling glory: wearing the yellow jersey, cycling the Tour de France, becoming a national hero. Robert Penn.

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Robert Penn has saddled up nearly every day of his adult life. In his late twenties, he pedaled 25, miles around the world. Today he rides to get to work, sometimes for work, to bathe in air and sunshine, to travel, to go shopping, to stay sane, and to skip bath time with his kids. He's no Sunday pedal pusher.

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  • So when the time came for a new bike, he decided to pull out all the stops. He would build his dream bike, the bike he would ride for the rest of his life; a customized machine that reflects the joy of cycling. It's All About the Bike follows Penn's journey, but this book is more than the story of his hunt for two-wheel perfection. En route, Penn brilliantly explores the culture, science, and history of the bicycle. From artisanal frame shops in the United Kingdom to California, where he finds the perfect wheels, via Portland, Milan, and points in between, his trek follows the serpentine path of our love affair with cycling.

    It explains why we ride. Graeme Fife. Racing cyclists all ride the same frail machine and all are equal before the demands of the road. But what is it that makes a winner? What special attributes do winners need to give them that extra edge? To find out, Fife analyses and illustrates the moral strength, intelligence, racing nous, cunning, tactical acumen and superior mental resilience of the champion racing cyclist. Drawing on exclusive interviews and personal acquaintance with some of the best riders to have raced on the continent, as well as mechanics and team-support crew, Inside the Peloton is a vivid portrait of the complex character of cycle racing.

    It is an unparalleled, in-depth study of ambition, the rage to win, the capacity to recover from defeat, the harrowing misery of lost morale and the hard initiation faced by every newcomer - however talented - to the unforgiving demands of professional competition. Provocative and rich in insight, this book is a very personal account by Fife.

    Read it to discover: What made Merckx, apparently invincible, so prey to doubt? George Hincapie. Thomas Dekker. Similar ebooks. Ventoux: Sacrifice and Suffering on the Giant of Provence. Jeremy Whittle. Ventoux is his memoir to the Giant of Provence in which he reveals the little-known history of the Ventoux, and tells the story of a monstrous climb that has driven riders to near-hysteria and also to wild extremes of doping.

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    A must read' — Ned Boulting? Willy Voet. In his car were the drugs the team needed if they were to have any chance of playing a competitive part in the Tour de France. David Walsh. On the surface, they were feature players in one of the great sporting stories of the age—American riders overcoming tremendous odds to dominate a sport that held little previous interest for their countrymen. But is this a true story, or is there a darker version of the truth, one that sadly reflects the realities of sports in the twenty-first century?

    Now internationally acclaimed award-winning journalist David Walsh gives an explosive account of the shadow side of professional sports. He examines how performance-enhancing drugs can infiltrate a premier sports event—and why athletes succumb to the pressure to use them.

    Also essential to this narrative is Floyd Landis, the unassuming, sympathetic hero who was the first winner of the Tour de France after Lance—and the first ever to face the threat of having his title revoked.