Friday, July 27, 2007

Review: Postively False

This is the story of Floyd Landis, his amazing win at the Tour de France last year, and what the court case he's fighting is about. I read this during the recentKiss of Death bike tour.

Before I read the book, I had done quite a bit of independent research into the case and the lab reports around it. To my mind, whether or not Landis doped is besides the question. Any lab that ran analysis the way the Paris doping lab did would have trouble successfully diagnosing diabetes, let alone testosterone doping, so the lab has no credibility to me. It might still be that Landis doped, but I don't think the evidence so far points in that direction. This is just my opinion as someone who's done physics experiments incompetently enough to get ludicrous results, and can recognize incompetence in other lab technicians.

On to the book itself. It's well-written, being ghost-written by a New York Times journalist. It's told in an extremely conversational style, and I could follow along his career. It seems that Landis is an extremely hard worker, and works harder than most other cyclists (25,000 miles a year is an extremely high volume of training). He then found scientists and trainers who took an extremely scientific approach to his training and got himself up to a high level from being Lance's domestique.

The descriptions of bike races, however, was a little disappointing, and I wished he'd spent more time discussing techniques, rather than focusing on all the off-the bike action, as well as a few salacious details about him and Lance's disagreements, etc.

All in all, a short book, well written, and well worth your time, even if you think Landis doped.
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