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of being caught and the risk/reward ratio that persuaded him to stop. I
suppose now I’m criticising him for being honest and not following the guilt
mantra that we‘ve become more used to! A lot of reviewers have been critical
of the book for much the same reason, however I DID still find it an
interesting read.
The format is a little strange, with narrative supported by inserts with
comments from relevant people, witnesses and they are uniformly pro-
George. This has drawn criticism too, but, really?? Was he supposed to find
people to denigrate him in his autobiography?? I surely wouldn’t! …

The early part of the book starts with the Hincapie family involvement with
cycling, how George got sucked in, and his early career. By page 37 though,
we’re into his anger about being outgunned by dopers and approaching
decision time.. Descriptions of doping practices etc are scattered
throughout the rest of the book – it’s striking how anal it is, Hincapie
himself describing what an anti-climax it was, and how simple, to simply
walk into a Swiss pharmacy and buy Epirex over the counter without even
a prescription needed.

There are some very evocative descriptions of his experiences in races – e.g.
Stage 19 of the 1995 Vuelta and the crash initiated by Marcel Wust – he
still has trouble viewing Graham Watson’s photos of that incident. It’s also
interesting to get his inside view on what went on in and around US
Postal/Discovery and his increasing disenchantment after his decision to
stop doping in 2006 – in his own words “…the ride into Paris felt light-years
away from the previous victories with Lance. I’d just been a part of my
eighth Tour de France championship, and I couldn’t have been more proud
of doing it clean.” (Interestingly he’d tried to jump ship to T-Mobile for the
2007 season but it didn’t work out, in part because he wasn’t prepared to
tell the Discovery backers that the real reason was a desire not to dope.)

One thing I liked in the race narratives was that George doesn’t hold back
and make it sound as though it was all quite easy - he really gives a sense
of the effort and pain involved. For example the description of Mark
Cavendish’s Milan-San Remo victory is gripping - the TV focus was all on

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