From the Library: Every Second Counts...


It seems as though the occurrence of retired former-professional cyclists coming clean about their use of performance enhancing drugs has become weekly of late. I don't know how many of these revelations can be attributed to Lance's confession, but the list of contrite ex-racers is sometimes a bit surprising (Stuart O'Grady), and other times not so much (Erik Zabel).

Like the previously reviewed It's Not About the Bike, this book is a little bit racing, a little bit cancer survivor, a little bit family life. Every Second Counts is a little more race heavy than the earlier book, covering the period up to Armstrong's fifth Tour title in 2003. Most readers who follow the sport will naturally read those race recollections with a tainted dose of sarcasm, searching for the unseen EPO hidden on each page. Fair enough, you reap what you sow, and Lance's fields of lies are quite extensive, to say the least. I want to say that there is still something to be learned from reading this book, something that reveals more than just deception, something that makes it worthwhile. If there is it would have to be the inspiration that Armstrong provided, maybe continues to provide, to those locked in their own battles with cancer. Armstrong's impact on the sport of cycling will never completely disappear, he has shifted from famous to infamous, and will likely remain stuck in that gear. Read with a wary eye, like it or not, this story will always be a part of sport history, and as we are finding more and more, just one of many similar stories from that era.

Armstrong, Lance with Sally Jenkins   Every Second Counts   New York: Broadway Books, 2003

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