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Lance Armstrong's War

3.81  ·  Rating Details ·  1,360 Ratings  ·  126 Reviews
Lance Armstrong's War is the extraordinary story of greatness pushed to its limits; a vivid, behind-the-scenes portrait of perhaps the most accomplished athlete of our time as he vies for a historic sixth straight victory in the toughest sporting event on the planet. It is the true story of a superlative sports figure fighting on all fronts—made newly vulnerable by age, fa ...more
Unknown Binding, 347 pages
Published June 13th 2006 by HarperCollins Publishers (first published June 14th 2005)
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Nov 05, 2007 Kate rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Even better than Armstrong's two autobiographical books, in which you feel he is giving you just the tightly-controlled slices of information he wants to tell, and nothing else. This book is a more objective look at the man, the myth, the yellow jersey that is Lance Armstrong. There are some great details of the cycling world also --can't recall the exact terms, but the chapter on how all the riders check out each other's fitness level with the 'side-pinch' and the 'ass-check,' is hilarious, as ...more
Apr 05, 2008 Don rated it really liked it
Really good read and great insight into a very intriguing sport.

Lots of interesting characters...both riders and those who are on the side of the road. Some are good; some, not so good.

A must read for any cyclist or anyone trying to understand bicycle racing. A good read for anyone interested in exploring another aspect of the sports entertainment industry, associated worldwide organizations, and entwining politics.
Julie H.
Jul 22, 2009 Julie H. rated it really liked it
Shelves: biography
I started this book in honor of the Tour de France and as acknowledgment of the power of persistance. I finished it, because it was really really good. Daniel Coyle, a contributing editor for Outside magazine and author of Hardball: A Season in the Projects (a book about his experiences as a little league coach in Chicago's former Cabrini-Green housing projects), was tremendously successful at his own dance on the razors-edge of gaining access to Armstrong and many other well-known cyclists and ...more
Dec 02, 2012 Jason rated it it was amazing
Great book. The author does not fall into the trap of hero worship of his subject matter, as happens far too often in biographies. Of course, this is somewhat a mix of biography and story of the world of professional cycling (and the 2004 Tour de France, in particular). For someone who knows little about cycling, this gave me a fascinating account of the sub-culture and demands of the sport. Of course, it also gave great insight on Armstrong. Without the proof that has come out in the past few m ...more
Sandra Strange
This nonfiction examination of Lance Armstrong’s performance in the 7th tour de France he won provides an inside look at bicycle racing and the competition it breeds. The author doesn’t just give details about Lance and what he has accomplished. The book features interviews and data about many of the major competitors. It unabashedly looks at the evidence for and against Lance’s claim never to have used performance drugs. It does, however, record the language of the participants, complete with F ...more
Jan 13, 2016 Jtomassetti rated it really liked it
Shelves: bicycling
LANCE ARMSTRONG TOUR DE FORCE by Daniel Coyne and INSIDE THE POSTAL BUS by Michael Berry both cover the 2004 US Postal Team cycling season. It was the season Lance Armstrong won his 6th Tour De France and when he was dating Sheryl Crow. Daniel Coyne is a professional writer who was given inside access to Lance Armstrong and the team during the 2004 season. Michael Berry is a professional cyclist who rode for US Postal for several seasons.

Daniel Coyne’s about Lance Armstrong book goes deep into
Oct 29, 2007 Capitol rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: cycling fans
Excellent in-depth analysis of the world of pro cycling. Daniel Coyle takes you deep inside the pro peloton giving the cycling fan unprecedented access to some of the key figures in cycling over the last ten years.
Lois Thomas
Mar 04, 2013 Lois Thomas rated it really liked it
Very inspiring...Loved it~!
Bill Palladino
Jul 16, 2008 Bill Palladino rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Cycling afficianados
Shelves: nonfiction
Coyle details one cycling season in the life of this sports icon. It is not just any season. It starts at the beginning of his attempt to win his sixth consecutive Tour de France. The iron man is off balance a bit. Divorce behind him, a blasphemous book about to be published accusing him of blood doping, intrigue in the cycling world, teams in shambles, and don't forget his new girlfriend Sheryl Crow. A great set up for catastrophe if I ever saw one. But you already know the rest of the story. T ...more
Kathy Stone
Mar 11, 2013 Kathy Stone rated it it was ok
Shelves: from-the-library
This is my second book on Procycling and unfortunately it is further back in time than my previous read. There are still the allegations of doping, but since this book is focused on the 2004 Tour de France there is no substantial proof. The admittance on Oprah is very recent and that book is not written yet. It will be very interesting to read what the cycling world journalists have to say now that there has been full disclosure.

No, I still do not like the character of Lance Armstrong. He comes
Sean Sullivan
Sep 11, 2007 Sean Sullivan rated it liked it
Shelves: sports
This book pretty much rules. If you have an interest in professional cycling, you’ve probably already read it. If you don’t have an interest in pro cycling, well, you should. No sport mixes cutting edge science, the limits of human endurance, complex tactics and horrific physical pain into a more engaging final product. I mean come on, I know all about hemocrit levels thanks to my interest in little dudes in tights.

This book is first about a report following Lance’s attempt to gain a sixth Tour
Oct 22, 2007 Jamie rated it liked it
Recommends it for: those of you interested in the science, strategy and politics of cycling
Shelves: non-fic
I don't normally read books like this: one off topical books by journalists looking to cash in on some sort of phenomenon. 300 page articles with a hard cover, a 25 dollar price tag, fated to end up in yard sales in 10 years, picked up for a dollar and an ounce of curiosity. (I bought it because it was on sale at the Strand for four dollars.) I don't even really like Lance Armstrong, he just seems like a highly motivated, highly aggressive, umm, dickhead. (And hypocrite. How could he NOT have do ...more
Jul 27, 2008 Molly rated it liked it
This book pulled me in because I find the dedication these guys have to the sport fascinating. Plus, I find the question of the use of performance enhancing drugs, its acceptance (or not?) in the sport intriguing because of the morality (not religious, but the right and wrong of it all) questions it involves, plus I think there are huge health risks involved that seem to be overlooked by the racers. If a guy is doping, and confesses, three cheers to him no matter the cost - and if he is doping, ...more
Dec 10, 2015 Brandon rated it liked it
As this book was written during Lance Armstrong's sixth Tour de France win, no substantial proof of his doping had yet been revealed. But knowing of the scandal didn't really rob from the book that much, because the author doesn't make a god out of Armstrong. He instead spends a lot of time describing the culture of the sport, the strategy involved and the different quirks and traditions the racers had, which was pretty fascinating. The book really takes you into their training, their jokes, the ...more
Heather Cox
Mar 11, 2008 Heather Cox rated it it was amazing
Okay, so I'm a pro-cycling fan, so this book was a bit more interesting to me than it would be to those who don't follow pro-cycling. BUT, let me say that I'm also not a die-hard cycling follower. The Tour de France gives me more joy every summer than anything I can think of, and I also enjoy watching smaller events throughout the year - Tour de Georgia, Tour de California, etc. The thing is, I love stories of personal struggles & triumphs. I love stories about the human process, and this bo ...more
Apr 02, 2014 JDK1962 rated it really liked it
Interesting account of the 2004 cycling season. Decided to read this before reading Wheelmen. Coyle largely avoids the subject of Armstrong's possible doping--not surprising, since it was written with Armstrong's cooperation--but does not avoid the topic (the epilogue recounts Tyler Hamilton getting busted for doping after the Athens Olympics).
Kevin Metcalfe
Apr 01, 2014 Kevin Metcalfe rated it it was amazing
Shelves: crime
Forgetting about the pervasive drug use that has finally been admitted to (by both the riders and the fans...) this book shows the level of dedication necessary to compete at the highest levels.
Garrett Burnett
Aug 12, 2011 Garrett Burnett rated it it was amazing
Coyle follows Armstrong and a few of his rivals for a season, culminating with the Tour de France. While Coyle never outright bashes Armstrong, he paints an often-unflattering picture of an obsessed (yes, it is about the bike), controlling, trapped-in-perpetual-adolescence celebrity/athlete who lives his life in sound bites, surrounds himself with "bros," and works harder than anyone in the sport. Tyler Hamilton, one of the rivals, must have made a better impression on Coyle, though Coyle's flat ...more
Apr 14, 2012 Joanne rated it really liked it
Add this to the list of guilty pleasures. Even though it's been several years since Lance Armstrong rode the Tour de France, and even more years since his glory days of victory, this is a hugely entertaining book for anyone who spends their July evenings watching a bunch of guys in spandex duel it out in the alps. Lots of great facts about the Tour and cycling in general, including how cyclists determine each others' fitness when spring training begins and I'll never forget Dan Coyle's descripti ...more
Nov 12, 2012 Jason rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book and the author Daniel Coyle's writing style.

He really provided a great look not just into Lance Armstrong but his entire team, fellow riders, support staff and how they prepared for and go through a Tour de France. I am also inspired to read more about Tyler Hamilton and Floyd Landis and their stories.

I also enjoyed reading about Lance's supporters like Robin Williams. (I had no idea that he was a bycicling enthusiest.) Also during the time this was written reading abo
Brian Beckwith
Aug 18, 2008 Brian Beckwith rated it liked it
The three stars is because I'm a pro-cycling fan and avid cyclist and found the science behind what these guys do fascinating. If you aren't into this sport the discussions of power per kilogram and cadence may be too much for you to bear for 300+ pages. It's also intersting to get a behind the scenes look at (who I believe) is one of the most fascinating sports icons ever, whether you're a fan of him or not. However, if you cut out the tech-talk, this is basically a really long magazine article ...more
Dec 04, 2014 Matt rated it really liked it
An awesome book on Armstrong's sixth attempt at a Tour de France win. Written well before Armstrong's admission of doping, this book is a textbook example of how to journalistically navigating the land mines of suspicion and innuendo—and a fascinating look behind the scenes. So, so good.
Book Warehouse
Oct 13, 2012 Book Warehouse rated it really liked it
When I first started watching the Tour de France, I couldn't understand why all those racers would work for the glory of one man when almost any of them could win stages. Now I see it more as a chess game, a battle of wills, strategies, media, and technology. Lance Armstrong's War is a behind-the-scenes look at a legendary champion and his team during the 2004 race. With Lance, you are friend or enemy with no in-between, so it's fascinating that he let a journalist into his world to see where th ...more
Jim Holscher
Jan 19, 2012 Jim Holscher rated it it was amazing
If you want an entertaining lesson in the pro cycling peloton there is no other stop than this book. Mr. Coyle takes you into the training rooms, down ever descent, and up every hill climb giving you a real look at what the peloton is really like.

Coyle doesn't shirk the controversies either. He hits the doping scandals head on and gives all sides a proper hearing.

The real triumph here though is the sheer readability and entertainment contained in the book.

Coyle pains a beautiful picture that
Kathryn Petz
Apr 06, 2013 Kathryn Petz rated it really liked it
I actually picked this book by mistake, the author co-wrote a book with Tyler Hamilton last summer with some very striking details about Armstrong's doping. This book was specifically about the 2004 tour when the allegations of doping were just picking up strength. This however was fascinating look back knowing what we know now. I look forward to reading the 2012 book and perhaps comparing and contrasting it with this one. It was not a waste of time to read this at all. It has lots of interestin ...more
Jan 19, 2008 Teri rated it liked it
This book was interesting - I couldn't decide whether it made me respect Lance more or less after reading his first autobiography (It's Not About the Bike). I thought the author portrayed him and his colleagues fairly - he didn't try to make Lance look better and others worse. But I still don't know if I think Lance is the "real thing." Is he a doper or not? I don't know. Perhaps we never will. But either he is one of the greatest--or the absolute greatest--athlete of all time, or his downfall w ...more
Marianne Meyers
Jul 07, 2012 Marianne Meyers rated it liked it
You know, I hadn't read any of these "Lance" books, I never was caught up in the Lance fandom. I didn't like him, he seemed to function with "everyone is against me, f*** them." And this book confirms that, yes, that is who he is. Exhausting to live that way. Yes, he fought cancer and that was amazing and has inspired many people, but he has lied about using drugs, and liars ultimately don't win. We'll see what happens in November. As a read, this book is a pretty comprehensive report of a few i ...more
Eric C.
Jun 07, 2016 Eric C. rated it it was amazing
So good and even better w/ hindsight.
Harrison .
Dec 01, 2014 Harrison . rated it it was amazing
dis book wuz good cuz i liekd it
Great will to overcome all obstacles
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Author of the New York Times bestseller Lance Armstrong’s War, Hardball: A Season in the Projects, Waking Samuel, and most recently The Talent Code. Coyle has written for Sports Illustrated, Play, and the New York Times Magazine. His work has appeared multiple times in Best American Sports Writing, and he is a two-time National Magazine Award finalist. He lives in Homer, Alaska, with his wife Jen ...more
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