By VeloNews Interactive
Just in time for his attempt at a sixth consecutiveTour win, Rodale is set to release in July “Lance Armstrong: Images ofa Champion,” a 208-page volume chronicling the Texan’s extraordinary career,with images from renowned cycling photographer Graham Watson and photocaptions and commentary provided by Armstrong.
While Watson’s decade of race photos takes center stage, the true gemscan be found in revealing testimonials written by five-time Tour winnersMiguel Induráin and Eddy Merckx, as well as U.S. Postal team director Johan Bruyneel.
The photo album focuses on Armstrong’s accomplishments on the bike,beginning in 1992. “Champion” opens by showcasing Armstrong’s days at Motorola,riding alongside Andy Hampsten and, briefly, 1992 Olympic champion FabioCasartelli, who died tragically in a crash at the 1995 Tour.
In one of the book’s more revealing passages, Armstrong writes of hisfallen teammate, “I was still thinking of [Casartelli] a few weeks later,after I’d won the Clasica San Sebastian, and went to sleep that night marvelingat the power human beings have to overcome such grief and use it to bettertheir own life.”
It’s a motivation well employed by the world’s most famous cancer survivor.And though Armstrong discussed his fight against the disease extensivelyin his best-selling book “It’s Not About the Bike,” it’s nevertheless movingwhen he reveals his frame of mind upon being diagnosed with testicularcancer in October 1996. “As Johan Museeuw became world champion in Lugano,I was a million miles away, praying for a miracle that would save my life.”
In another caption, for a photo of Tour winners Armstrong, Jan Ullrichand Marco Pantani lined up at the 2001 Tour of Murcia, Armstrong offerssome insight into the experience. “The organizers were delighted all threeof us were at the start, but I think we would much rather have got on withthe racing and not been made to pose so uncomfortably.”
— Neal Rogers
Perfect for the diehard Armstrong fan, “Images of a Champion” is a colorful scrapbook of a rider who continues to make history. “Lance Armstrong: Images of a Champion” (Rodale, 208 pages) is available for $35.00 from www.velogear.com