Lance Armstrong Releases New Book Lance Armstrong Comeback 2.0: Up Close and Personal
Read our excerpt from the new book Lance Armstrong Comeback 2.0: Up Close and Personal and use our link below the excerpt to order the book online. It will make a great Christmas present to cyclists and cycling fans.
history with the Tour, but at this point it was more through what friends had told them than from anything they actually remembered. So they were excited about the prospect of living through it with me and going to France.
Two days after he'd asked me to think about it, I called Chris Carmichael back to let him know I was doing it. I asked him if he wanted to work with me. "Dude," he said, "what do you think?" Chris had just wanted me to consider the pros and cons, but once I'd made my decision, he was with me all the way. It was a relief. It's hard to imagine training without Chris's expertise.
I also couldn't imagine launching a comeback of any kind without Johan Bruyneel. Johan was the directeur sportif -- the guy in charge -- of my team in all of the Tours that I won. He himself is a former pro cyclist and Tour de France veteran who once outsprinted the great champion Miguel Indurain in a stage that ended in Johan's native Belgium. In the years since, he's become a brilliant team strategist -- truly unparalleled in our sport. Small wonder he's been the architect of so many team and individual victories in the Tour de France.
Like everyone else I confi ded in at this time, Johan didn't know whether or not to take me seriously. He wound up fl ying to Austin pretty much to look me in the eye to see if I was for real. He instantly saw that I was.
Johan was set to direct the Astana squad, a cycling team based in Kazakhstan, in the 2009 Tour, and he already had an amazing lineup. I was pretty frank with him. I didn't want to keep him from working with a guy who might dominate the Tour for the next several years to work with me for maybe just one. But Johan said that to him, working with me again would be more satisfying than working for the next fi ve years with a potentially dominant Tour force. So we were good. And I couldn't have been more heartened by Johan's great friendship and confidence in me.
Right around this time I called Bill Stapleton, a former Olympic swimmer who's been my longtime agent. Bill has had my back for so long, I don't remember when he didn't have it. When I had cancer, he was the guy who kept the director of Cofi dis, my Tour team then, at bay when the guy arrived with the false gift of a bottle of wine, determined to renegotiate the terms of my contract or force me to take a physical when I was lying in a hospital bed, sick from chemo.
I'd started texting Bill about the Tour right after watching that Alpe d'Huez stage. At fi rst he thought I was joking. "Put down your beer and go back to the beach" pretty much sums up his reaction. But when he realized that I was serious, he took me seriously.