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Lance Armstrong’s Comeback from Cancer

A Scrapbook of the Tour de France Winner’s Dramatic Career
by Samuel Abt with photos by James Startt

Format: 6 x 9 inch trade paperback
Description: 176 pages with 12-page color photo insert
ISBN: 1-892495-25-2
Price: US$16.95
Abt's writing and Startt's photographs make this a far more insightful account of Armstrong's early career, fight with cancer, and comeback than any other book on the subject.


About the book

That was quite a victory. Lance Armstrong, winner of the 1999 Tour de France, and a wonderful first in his five-in-a-row (and still counting…) series of Tour victories.

In 1992, at age 21, he was a brash neo-professional from Texas. In October 1996, at the conclusion of the Tour de France, he was diagnosed with cancer, and given a 20-percent chance of survival — not to mention his chances of returning to the sport he loved. A year later, he was recovering from cancer therapy and joined the Tour de France as a visitor. In 1998, he started a slow and at first faltering comeback, dropping out of several major races.

But then, in 1999, he did come back. In a big way, becoming the second American (after Greg LeMond) to win the Tour de France, the world’s toughest sporting event.

In Lance Armstrong’s Comeback from Cancer, veteran bicycle racing writer Samuel Abt pieces together, not only the story of Armstrong’s spectacular Tour victory, but also his equally miraculous victory over cancer. Written as a scrapbook of Armstrong’s career, it’s a true story, and an inspirational one, proving that there is hope for cancer survivors. A dramatic book — and a tribute to a conquering spirit.

About the author

Samuel Abt is associate editor for the International Herald Tribune, based in Paris, and has written about bicycle racing for that paper and the New York Times for over two decades. He has written eight previous books about the sport and is the only American awarded the Medal of the Tour de France for distinguished service to the sport.

About the photographer:

James Startt is a photographer based in Paris. He has been following European bicycle racing for many years and regularly reports on the sport for the U.S. cycling publications. His photos have been prominently exhibited at major photo galleries in Paris and was included in the Oakland (California) Museum’s 2000 Bicycle Art Exhibit.

Critical reviews of the author’s earlier books

"Abt understands that the sport is a metaphor for life, and he uses his considerable writing skills to convey its drama." — The Washington Post

"Abt’s style is distinctly disarming. He has a way of befriending riders and making them reveal themselves." — Bicycling Magazine

Table of Contents

Introduction: A Moment of Purity

Part I. Looking Back
July 25, 1999. The Man in the Yellow Jersey

Part II. The First Lance
September 16, 1992. A Humble Beginning
July 6, 1993. The Big Show
July 12, 1993. That First Victory
July 17, 1993. Time to Bow Out
Aug. 29, 1993. World Champion
March 14, 1994. Team Leader
April 27, 1994. Report Card
May 8, 1994. A Change of Heart
July 2, 1994. Back at the Show
July 11, 1994. Everybody’s Watching
October 3, 1994. The Old Jersey
July 4, 1995. Stirrings of Ambition
July 18, 1995. Death of a Friend
July 19, 1995. Paying Homage
July 21, 1995. One for Casartelli
July 25, 1995. Homage to Big Mig
August 14, 1995. Victory in a Classic
March 13, 1996. An Uncertain Beginning
May 13, 1996. Downsized
July 5, 1996. Dreaming of Other Roads
July 6, 1996. Cold, Wet, and Sick
August 29, 1996. No Sign of the Cavalry
September 3, 1996. Making It Official

Part III. Down but Fighting Back
October 8, 1996. Terrible News
November 18, 1996. An Ordinary Morning
December. 20, 1996. Good News
January 15, 1997. From 90,000 to 3
April 16, 1997. A Rider Chump
July 18, 1997. Simply a Spectator

September 6, 1997. Planning His Comeback
March 10, 1998. Temporary Setback
June 16, 1998. A Glitch in the Schedule
August 3, 1998. The Tormented Tour
Sept. 24, 1998. A Rider Reborn
March 10, 1999. Looking for the Sun
March 12, 1999. Going Postal
March 16, 1999. On the Riviera
June 7, 1999. Italy Grieves

Part IV. Comeback
July 4, 1999. The 86th Tour de France
July 5. Stage One: Wearing Yellow
July 6, 1999. Stage Two: A Big Crash
July 7, 1999. Stage Three: Sweet Dreams
July 7. Stage Four: Where’s Cipo?
July 8. Stage Five: Questions About Doping
July 9. Stage Six: Sprinter’s Heyday
July 10. Stage Seven: Cipo’s Fourth
July 11. Stage Eight: Regaining Yellow
July 13. Stage Nine: Into the Alps
July 14. Stage 10: Bastille Day
July 14. Nasty Rumors
July 15. Stage 11: Transition
July 16. Stage 12: Simon’s Dilemma
July 16. An Honored Visitor
July 17. Stage 13: The Defense Team
July 18. Stage 14: Another Letdown for the French
July 20. Stage 15: Cementing His Position
July 20. No Third Chance
July 21. Stage 16: Le Monde’s Quest
July 22. Stage 17: Some Attacks
July 23. Stage 18: In Virenque’s Shadow
July 24. Stage 19: Another First
July 25. Stage 20: Homecoming

Always a Good Time

From the contents

A very youthful Armstrong, warming up on rollers for the time trial stage of the 1992 Tour DuPont


Bringing home the flag after his first Tour victory in 1999


Climbing Taylor's Hill during the 1996 Tour DuPont, the American stage race that Armstrong won twice.