If you don’t agree with these superlatives, you may have some trouble with Mr. Wilcockson’s book, which cheers for Armstrong’s achievements, soft peddles most of his faults, and slams his detractors.
Lance Armstrong won the world’s most celebrated cycling race seven consecutive times. His resume is dotted with other cycling triumphs less grand than his Tour de France wins. He has helped to raise a great deal of money for cancer research, and as a cancer survivor, he has inspired many people. But to paraphrase Hamlet on his celebrated father “He was a man.” “Take him for all in all,” we may not look upon Lance Armstrong’s like again – who else is likely to win seven Tours in a row? - but to present him as the unadulterated embodiment of all that is good and admirable is ridiculous. At times, Armstrong has been vindictive and self-righteous. His rages against people whom he perceives as his betrayers have sounded at best bitter, at worst thoroughly paranoid. Even Armstrong himself would probably agree that he has sometimes been extraordinarily selfish in terms of his treatment of his ex-wife and others.
John Wilcockson, decidedly a Friend of Lance, would balk at some of those assertions, but there’s no doubt that he’s had great access to Armstrong. Beyond that, Wilcockson is certainly qualified to write about the minutia of the sport. Readers seeking access to same will not be disappointed.
This program aired on July 2, 2009. The audio for this program is not available.