QUICK TAKE: As I write this, I’m watching the final stage of the Tour de France, a grueling three-week cycling competition that’s had a rough couple of years. Not only has it struggled to rid itself of blood-doping riders, but it has had to find its way following the retirement of seven-time champ Lance Armstrong. I relived some of the Armstrong years between stages of this year’s Tour by paging through Images of a Champion [LibraryThing / WorldCat].
Armstrong wrote the opening page of each chapter and invited family, friends, rivals, coaches, and teammates to pen the closing pages. Together they tell the story of a fierce competitor unwilling to quit or finish second. The full-page photography of Graham Watson carries the book, however. His large, full-page photos capture some of the drama and color of the race, as well as the scenes of the French countryside so familiar to Tour watchers.
A couple years ago I read Armstrong’s It’s Not About the Bike: My Journey Back to Life [LibraryThing / WorldCat]. It’s a much more thorough autobiography and covers his cancer battle well. Images of a Champion makes a nice illustrated companion to that book.