Quotes from It's Not About the Bike
My Journey back to Life
Lance Armstrong with Sally Jenkins

Excerpt from Chapter One of Lance's new book!
The truth is, if you ask me to choose between winning the Tour de France and cancer, I would choose cancer. Odd as it sounds, I would rather have the title of cancer survivor than winner of the Tour, because of what it has done for me as a human being, a man, a husband, a son, and a father.
-Lance Armstrong
What makes a great endurance athlete is the ability to absorb potenial embarrassment, and to suffer without complaint. I was discovering that if it was a matter of gritting my teeth, not caring how it looked, and outlasting everybody else, I won. It didn't seem to matter what sport it was--in a straight-ahead, long-distant race, I could beat anybody.
If it was a suffer-fest, I was good at it.

-Reflections on his early years.
I'll spend the rest of my life trying to adequately convey what it meant to me, and I'll be an Oakley, Nike, and Giro athlete for as long as I am alive. They paid my contracts in full, every one- even though each of them had the right to terminate the deal- and none of them ever so much as asked me about when I would ride a bike again.
-The sponsors who stuck with him throughout his treatment and recovery.
Cofidis had made a statement to the world that they would stick with me, and they had reaped the favorable press for it, but behind closed doors was another matter.
-About the team who had signed him just before Lance was diagnosed with Cancer.
There was a second supremely sweet moment of victory. As I made my way through the finish area, I passed the Cofidis team. Assorted members of the organization stood around, the men who I felt had left me for dead in a hospital room. "That was for you," I said as I moved past them.
-After winning the opening time trial and becoming the leader of the 1999 Tour de France
"You'll have to convince me you know what you're doing," I said.
"Look, I've done a large number of these,"Shapiro said."I've never had anyone die, and I've never made anyone worse."
"Yeah, but why should you be the person who operates on my head?"
"Because as good as you are at cycling"-he paused-"I'm a lot better at brain sugery."

-interviewing candiate Nuro-surgons
By the end of my treatment we would ride for half an hour, a simple loop through the neighborhood... about halfway through the ride we reached a short steep hill. I thought I was keeping up, but the truth was, my friends were being kind. In fact, they were moving so slowly they almost fell over sideways on their bikes... I had little concept of how fast or how show we were moving.
All of a sudden, a figure moved up on my left. It was a woman in her 50s on a heavy mountain bike, and she went right by me.

An American in cycling was comparable to a French baseball team in the World Series. I was a gate-crasher in a revered and time-honored sport, and I had no concept of its rules, written and unwritten, or its etiquette. Let's just say that my Texas manners didn't play well on the continent.

Arizona? Too hot. Colorado? Too high altitude. Then I said,"Remember Boone? That little hippie town in North Carolina?"
Boone was high in the Appalachians on the route of the old Tour Du Pont, and I had fond memories of it. I had won the Tour Du Pont twice there, and I had spent many afternoons cycling and suffering on its biggest peak, Beech Mountain, which was the crucial climbing stage of the race. It was arduous but beautiful country...

-Considering places for an intensive training camp.
I had learned what it means to ride the Tour de France. It's not about the bike...
-After winning a Tour stage in 1995, two days after the death of his Motorola team-mate, Fabio on a high speed descent.

Last update November 10, 2005