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Every Second Counts


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About the Author

Champion cyclist LANCE ARMSTRONG continues to make winning the Tour de France his annual cycling goal. He also oversees the Lance Armstrong Foundation, a nonprofit organization that assists cancer patients around the world with managing and surviving the disease. He lives in Austin, Texas.
Sally Jenkins is a columnist for the "Washington Post." In 2002 she won the Associated Press's Columnist of the Year Award. She has cowritten many bestselling sports books, including "It's Not About the Bike" and, with Pat Summitt, "Reach for the Summit" (Broadway Books).


Unequivocally the world's greatest cycling race, the Tour de France is an arduous three-week, 20-stage ride that tests both the physical fitness and the mental toughness of its participants. These two books pay homage to the event in different ways. A beautiful coffee-table work produced in collaboration with the French sports daily, L'Equipe, The Official Tour de France celebrates the race's centenary this year. Interspersed throughout this definitive, year-by-year account are wonderful photographs, 200 in color and 500 in black and white. In an appendix, readers will find information on podium placings, total victories by riders, champions by nation, and winners of the yellow, green, and polka-dot jerseys. With a foreword by Lance Armstrong. Speaking of Armstrong, one quickly runs out of superlatives to describe the four-time Tour de France winner who has survived testicular, brain, and lung cancer. In his previous biography, It's Not About the Bike, also co-written with Washington Post journalist Jenkins, he documented his early life and career and his battle with cancer, culminating with his first Tour victory. Every Second Counts chronicles the challenge an athlete faces living in the aftermath of his experiences, when each day is a precious gift. The work describes his recent cycling achievements, being cancer-free for five years, and dedication to the foundation that bears his name, which helps cancer patients worldwide. An inspirational read that has the makings of another best seller. Both books are worthy additions for all public libraries. [Armstrong's book was previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 6/1/03.]-Larry R. Little, Penticton P.L., B.C. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

Armstrong-only the second rider ever to win five consecutive Tours de France-is a man with a healthy ego. And he has a right to one: not only is he one of the world's foremost athletes, he is a cancer survivor and advocate, philanthropist, devoted family man and, as evidenced here with the help of freelancer Jenkins, an accomplished memoirist. This second volume (after It's Not About the Bike) takes Armstrong through the summer of 2002. Though cycling brings him individual glory, it is very much a team sport, and Armstrong is always conscious of this in all aspects of life: "Anyone who imagines they can work alone winds up surrounded by nothing but rivals. The fact is, others have to want you to succeed; no one ascends alone." He gives generous credit to the many people who support him: family, friends, teammates, doctors, nurses, coaches and, especially, other cancer survivors, from whom Armstrong draws strength and encouragement. Armstrong believes cancer was his wake-up call: every second does count-both in bike racing and in life. The book ends on an uncertain note: Armstrong and his wife have separated; he is anticipating the 2003 Tour and contemplating what lies ahead when his racing days are over. But his strong message of hope shines through-this often moving, energetic story offers enough bike lore to satisfy racing aficionados, while still accessible for the reader who's more interested in Armstrong's inspirational approach to life. (Oct.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

Adult/High School-In It's Not about the Bike (Putnam, 2000), Armstrong related his battle with cancer and his incredible Tour de France victory. In this book, he gives a gripping account of his second through (record-tying) fifth victories at the Tour. (His latest triumph might be missed by less-than-thorough readers-it's at the very end, following the afterword.) One sees that Armstrong has grown up quite a bit since his first book. However, he still has a reckless streak, as witnessed by his fondness for diving into a place called Dead Man's Hole. There are glimpses into his personal life and reflections on his illness, but this memoir is unabashedly about the thrill of racing and winning with the U.S. Postal Team. Armstrong talks about his teammates with humility and admiration. He also deals frankly, yet with remarkable restraint, with the accusations of doping by the French. The cyclist still works with his Lance Armstrong Foundation against cancer, but readers get the sense that he is definitely looking forward. Warm and informal in tone, Every Second Counts is a must-read for cycling fans.-Sheila Shoup, Fairfax County Public Library, VA Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

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