Cycling Books On Tour De France Doping Culture
Top Cycling Books That Showcase The Sport's Doping Culture
The Tour De France exudes joy, elation and the ultimate in sporting endurance. However sadly the sport has a dark past which has often been dragged up and led to it being chastised in the media.
This article showcases some of the amazing investigative journalism books and autobiographies on cycling and the Tour De France which give valuable insights into the doping culture. From the 1998 Festina Scandal from behind the eyes of Willy Voet, to Tyler Hamilton's involvement in Lance Armstrong's US Postal Team there's a cycling book here to provide a deep education into the punishing demands of the sport at it's highest level.
There have been allegations of doping in the Tour De France since it's inception in 1903 when alcohol and ether were used as recovery strategies for getting through the arduous nature of the race itself although the first doping tests only began in Bordeaux in 1966 with Raymond Poulidor providing a urine sample for testing which led to a protest the following day.
Racing Through The Dark- David Millar's Story
A Current Pro's View From The Dark Side- Garmin's David Millar Tells His Story
David Millar seemingly had it all. He was the Team Leader for the French Cofidis Professional Cycling Team and was World Time Trial Champion. But under the surface things were completely different.
In Racing Through The Dark, Miller candidly and honestly takes the reader through the circumstances which led to him doping and why he did it. Millar's autobiography doesn't seek redemption. All he sought was another chance and to make things better. His fall from grace was fast but Racing Through The Dark's deeply serious tone and is inspirational at wanting to make you get out on the bike and ride.
Essential reading for all young riders starting to make their way in the sport as well as fans looking for insights into cycling's doping culture.
The book breaks Millar's life down to three stages, before, during and then the rehabilitation phase. It names names and is brutally honest about what was happening in professional cycling at the time.
Racing Through The Dark- The David Millar Autobiography
The honest, sombre and deeply moving tail of David Millar's fall from grace through doping and his fight for redemption. A really inspiring read.
Inside The Festina Scandal With Willy Voet's Breaking The Chain
Willy Voet was a member of the backroom staff for the Festina Cycling Team when in 1998 his team car was stopped en route to the start of the Tour De France. A routine Police inspection showcased the dark side of professional cycling and revealed many of the preparations the Festina Team would be using during the race.
Willy Voet's Breaking The Chain was originally published in French and while the book is a translation: This book is a brilliant expose of doping at the heights of professional cycling and the performance benefits it bought to the Tour De France.
The book implicates some of the top riders in the Peloton at the time including the French darling Richard Virenque. This is a controversial account from a man who certainly had an axe to grind.
Breaking The Chain By Willy Voet
A graphic and detailed account on the 1998 Festina Scandal which rocked cycling to the core. An account of doping at the high echelons of cycling and a must read for any cyclist.
Death Of A Flawed Genius- Marco Pantani
Italy's Marco Pantani was a majestic climber who won both the Giro D'Italia and Tour De France in 1998 during an era where drugs were of extreme prevalence in international cycling. Those Grand Tour wins should have acted as a springboard to dominance but behind the scenes were dark secrets in Pantani's life involving doping and depression which led towards cocaine addiction.
Matt Rendell's excellent biography- The Death Of Marco Pantani follows the star from his early development in Italy's fiercely competitive amateur levels to his emergence as one of the best climbers of his generation. Pantani was deeply feared by rivals including the now disgraced Lance Armstrong.
Pantani's death in 2004 was a deep tragedy for the sport of cycling and makes for a fascinating read.
The Death Of Marco Pantani by Matt Rendell
Marco Pantani was destined for greatness yet had deep underlying secrets which ultimately led to his demise. This book tells his story in great detail.
The Now Disgraced Lance Armstrong
An Insight Into Doping In The Armstrong Era From Former Team-mate Tyler Hamilton
The Secret Race: Inside the Hidden World of the Tour de France: Doping, Cover-ups, and Winning at All Costs by Tyler Hamilton and Daniel Coyle was the winner of the 2012 William Hill Sports Book Of The Year.
Hamilton's tale is one that's become increasingly popular in his connections to Lance Armstrong and The Secret Race paints a clear picture of what Armstrong was like to be around and work with.
The Secret race helps to look at how heavily doping was involved in cycling and rider preparation for the most grueling of all races- the Tour De France. From the logistics to the supply of drugs Hamilton is forthright in giving over the knowledge that has helped to lead to Armstrong's downfall.
Put Me Back On My Bike- The Tom Simpson Story
The definitive story of one of Britain's greatest ever cyclist's. A must read for any cycling fan.
The Life And Death Of Tom Simpson On Le Mont Ventoux
Tom Simpson died a deeply tragic death two kilometers from the top of the Mont Ventoux during the 1967 Tour. The place is now marked by a memorial to 'Major Tom' which has become a place of pilgrimage for cyclists across the world.
Simpson's biography is told by the brilliant Fotheringham am showcases the sheer will to win of the British rider who had openly admitted to doping in the quest of greatness. Simpson's death is told in great depth as well as the story of his rise to prominence from the working class upbringing in the Yorkshire town of Harworth.
More On Tour De France Doping Tragedies
- 40 Years Of Doping At The Tour De France | The Guardian
A brief history of 40 years of Tour De France doping by William Fotheringham of The Guardian
Do You Know Of Any Books On Doping In Cycling We've Missed?
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Thanks for reading. Vive Le Tour
Liam Hallam- (CyclingFitness)
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