"We Might As Well Win"

As this year's Tour de France is well underway across the Atlantic, spectators are still no doubt wary about the ongoing doping scandal that has marred the event. Johan Bruyneel's new book, We Might As Well Win: On the Road to Success with the Mastermind Behind a Record-Setting Eight Tour de France Victories, addresses that issue and how it effected his team, led by Lance Armstrong, throughout their eight victories while riding the Tour.

Johan Bruyneel was a good enough cyclist to compete in the Tour de France, and to win a stage of the race in 1995. He was a good enough team director to preside over aggregations that won the Tour de France eight times. Though he is comfortable with the characterization of himself as “the mastermind” in the subtitle of We Might As Well Win, Bruyneel is happy to acknowledge the obvious: his team was extraordinarily successful because it was led by Lance Armstrong, who won the Tour seven times. That’s why it was so important to Bruyneel to win at least one more Tour after Armstrong retired, an achievement Bruyneel accomplished in 2007 with Alberto Contador and Team Discovery. Regarding The Question That Must Be Asked, Bruyneel says his friend Lance would have to have been an idiot to take performance-enhancing drugs after beating cancer, and he maintains that Lance is not an idiot. Assuming you haven’t dismissed the highest level of cycle racing as a nest of crooked athletes and smiling liars, you can learn a lot about the sport from reading Mr. Bruyneel’s book. One thing you won’t learn from We Might As Well Win is how addictive the sport can be. The book ends with Mr. Bruyneel’s retirement. By the time it was in the bookstores, he was back at work, helping to run Astana, the team banned from this year’s tour for the various chemical misadventures in which members of the team had previously engaged.


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