Author(s): Bill Strickland
What drives someone to step back into the glare of the spotlight after they've walked away showered with praise and adulation? Is it ego? Is it boredom? As author Bill Strickland follows Lance Armstrong's comeback year he explores the motivations and struggles of a cyclist's journey back to the peloton, but he also explores Armstrong as a symbol of our culture - why is it we so love a comeback? Lance Armstrong's comeback obsessed millions - the hundreds of thousands of amateur bike racers around the world, the millions of regular recreational riders, and even more millions, even billions, who go to watch the peloton sweep past or follow the Tour in print, on TV and via the internet. Strickland follows Lance through the 2009 race season, from the Tour Down Under through the tours in Europe and the US to the Tour de France in July. As the season unfolds and Armstrong's quest gains urgency so does the author's obsession with everything relating to his comeback. Tour de Lance takes us into the rich complexities of the words of cycling - its uncertain strategies, its hallowed traditions, its unpredictable and savage team dynamics, its relentless technology wars, its rhythm both seasonal and within a single race. Nor does it shrink from exploring sometimes uncomfortable corners of the truth. Was for instance Lance Armstrong's motivation in returning purely philanthropic as he claimed, or was it as someone close to him claimed 'he's a killer, and he missed killing'.