I can not attest to the accuracy or lack of same in the accounts of this book. In fact, the fly leaf of the book states:
"This book is a memoir. It reflects my present recollection of my experiences over a period of years, as well as information from interviews and other research performed by Lauren Mooney. Conversations and events have been recounted to evoke one or more participants' recollections of what was said or what occured, but are not intended to be a perfect recollection."
I can not think of a fairer introduction of what constitutes someone's best recollection of events about which, the author had no reasonable presumption to believe, he would require accurate recall. As each of us go about our daily lives we travel paths, of which, we are only dimly aware. Although we may look at being a professional bicycle competitor as something unique and spectacularly worthy of note and recollection, I am certain that for the person living such a life, it can become undeniably routine, and repetitive. It is comprised literally of thousands of miles and countless rooms in nameless hotels. I find it remarkable that the author was able to not only recollect, but also to make that recollection vibrant, interesting and informative in his recall. This is a terrific cycling book, and an even better look inside the politics and geologic scale of time embraced by the international cycling megaliths.
The path from Floyd Landis' Mennonite youth to the world of international cycling competition is brief in the recollection and honestly not that long in the living. The book takes about 35 pages to get Floyd from his roots in mountain biking onto a road bike, and by page 47 he is on Team Postal riding with Lance. This journey from High School to world competition took 8 years. Four years later he won the Tour de France. The term Fast track does not begin to describe his ascent.
By page 177 Floyd has won his tour and by page 181 his world was crashing down around his ears.
The details of racing and the strategies of the competition are exciting and well written. It is easy to identify and lose yourself in the pages. The balance of the book does what I would have to consider a fairly even handed job of presenting Floyd's case against the WADA and the USADA the two doping agencies pressing their case against him. Here again we empathize with Floyd Landis and develop a sense of the initial confusion and ultimate frustration he felt and feels battling the cycling anti-doping agencies and their case against him, or the lack of it.
Rather than a diatribe railing against the evil demons of the international cycling community, Floyd presents the regulations that he sees as reasonable when applied to an athlete who has been found guilty of doping. His issue lies with the mechanisms that were invoked to make the allegations against him and the premature imposition of penalties and bad publicity that resulted in his public pillory. In the book he describes a system veiled in secrecy and cloaked in arbitrary and somewhat capricious application of science, usually with the aim of supporting preconceived decisions.
The stated aim of the publication of this book is to counter this bad public image, and to open to public scrutiny the process by which the author was alleged to have cheated. Obviously his position is that he did not.
I read his book before I attended a book signing and public Q&A at the Book Revue in Huntington Village. The questions posed to him by the attending bicycling savvy audience of over two hundred were insightful, and had they had the opportunity to read the book repetitious, as they were all answered there. My point is, that not only was Floyd Landis genuinely a nice guy, but he also seemed without guile, above board and remarkably consistent in his answers with the book.
Do you want to know Floyd Landis? Then buy and read his book!