Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Positively False

I just finished reading Positively False, the story of Floyd Landis's journey from a Mennonite, to a winner of the Tour de France...then...well you know.

The book is basically Floyd's autobiography, going from his childhood into the present day. I found the most remarkable transition of the book was his decision to leave his Mennonite community. He plays out his thought processes well, going from a teenager leaving everything he's known going into the mainstream and becoming a professional cyclist.
If you take a step back and realize how much of a life change this would be for Floyd, it adds a neat perspective into his mind. He told stories about how he use to ride his bike for like...6 hours at a time when he was 14 wearing sweatpants because his parents didn't want his to wear spandex. Ouch
In another story he talks about how he was at a National MTB race and his ride forgot him at the course the night before, so he slept on the ground rolled up in a banner in his cycling clothes, freezing. He then raced the next morning wearing the same thing. Ahh that sucks.

Floyd goes into detail about his time with USPS, which I found very interesting. Too often we get 'Lance's' point of view on everything and there is very little perspective from the rest of the team. Floyd paints a very different picture of what went on in the inner workings of the team that we wouldn't normally see(Not Drugs).

What I found the most interesting was Floyds training while riding with USPS and leading up to his eventual Tour de France Win*. From an athletes point of view it was fascinating as he explained the different training techniques he used, and how much he relied on his power meter, and what kind of recovery habits he had. I really liked these parts.

Of course the book goes into the Tour de France victory, and Floyd's thoughts during the race. When the eventual drug positive happened, the book shifts gears and goes into the legal trial and how Floyd fought the charge with his many lawyers.

It was the later part of the book that I found super boring. Leading up to the positive test, I enjoyed it, but when getting into the test procedures of everything and legal hearings I found my mind wandering.

I found it boring not because the topic wasn't interesting, but because someone who follows cycling a lot, I get bombarded with that specific case alllllllllllllllllllllllllllll the time. I just lost interest after awhile. I guess it is the point of the book though.

Other than that, the book was great. It was written in a very easy to read style, similar to Lance's books. I found the real gem of the book however, was the specifics to Floyd's training regime. It was these parts that set the book apart from the rest.

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