Wednesday, October 28, 2009

We Might As Well Win

We Might As Well Win - a book by Johan Bruyneel (and Bill Strickland) - I picked this up from the local library. If you're anything of a Tour or Lance fan, or a Bruyneel fan for that matter - worth a read. An inside look at the winning machine behind the Postal and Discovery teams, that propelled Lance to 7 consecutive Tour wins. I don't think we'll see that record broken for quite some time - if ever.

After reading the book, can see how this winning streak was a combo effort, idea wise anyway, between Bruyneel and Lance. The full concentration on only the Tour, the recon rides of the stages, and other strategies that blew up some of the old school thinking of preparing for the Tour. Bruyneel is the most successful Team Director of all time and comes across as a smart guy, driven and full of cycling knowledge and smarts.

Johan Bruyneel was also a pro cyclist himself, before becoming a Team Director. I enjoyed his stories from his own exploits as a rider, as much or more so, then the Lance related stories. Growing up in cycling crazy Belgium, his one Tour stage win, losing his cycling dad and biggest supporter to a heart attack at age 53 (on a ride himself), 5 weeks before seeing his son compete in his first ever Tour, crashing off a 100 foot cliff during a race - and other stories that puts some background to the man.

I thought he skipped over the doping issue of pro cycling a bit - especially the hiring and firing of Ivan Basso for Team Discovery - although it is mentioned. The book was also written before Johan and Lance "came out of retirement" to work with Team Astana in 2009. As we all know, he scored another Tour victory as Team Director with Alberto Contador and Lance finishing in 3rd place. A pretty impressive record - no?

Not a bad read at all. Find a copy and give a read yourself.


  1. Sounds like a good read. That hand-to-the-chin cover shot of Mr. B is aesthetically tragic, though. Wha'? Photo shoot courtesy of Sears?
    Show the cleft!

  2. I think Sears was contracted for all Team Postal/Discovery/Astana photography.

    A little known bicycle "fun fact".