The Comeback chronicles the life of one of America’s greatest athletes, from his roots in the windswept hills of Nevada's Washoe Valley to the heights of his global fame at the Tour de France. With a swift narrative drive and fierce attention to detail, Daniel de Visé reveals the dramatic, ultra-competitive inner world of a sport rarely glimpsed up close, and builds a compelling case for LeMond as its great American hero.
Coming June 5 from Atlantic Monthly Press
“The Comeback is an eye-popping ride, sweeping the reader through the extreme eccentricities of endurance cycling. But the heart of the story, the charismatic spirit and re-crowning of America’s authentic cycling champion Greg LeMond, is what makes you cheer through the pages.” -- Diana Nyad, author of Find a Way and the only person to swim between Cuba and the United States.
"Greg LeMond was Lance Armstrong before Lance Armstrong--and he won his three Tours de France WITHOUT cheating. The Comeback is the story of a true hero and his remarkable comeback to win arguably the most dramatic Tour de France in history. This is a must read if you believe in miracles." -- John Feinstein, bestselling author of Season on the Brink and The First Major.
“Once in a blue moon a sports book comes along appealing to a such a broad audience that it becomes a perennial favorite of neighborhood reading groups--Boys in the Boat and Seabiscuit being prime examples. Now make way for The Comeback by Daniel de Visé, a superbly well-crafted narrative. For devotees of the sport of bicycle racing, and for those with little knowledge of it, this book will satisfy in every way.” -- Paul Dickson, author of Bill Veeck and Leo Durocher.
“Greg LeMond is an American sporting hero whose story would surely be rejected by Hollywood as too fanciful. It includes taking on and beating the French at their own game, a near-fatal shooting, a career in apparently terminal decline, an extraordinary comeback, and a bitter feud with his successor. Remarkably, it’s all true, and The Comeback is the first book to document the full LeMond story in all its astonishing, scarcely credible detail.” -- Richard Moore, author of Slaying the Badger and host of The Cycling Podcast.
"Daniel de Visé has written a gripping account of what is widely considered to be the greatest finish in Tour de France history. His meticulously researched story of the professional and personal life of LeMond is enhanced by compelling descriptions of the cast of heroes and villains who built him up….. and tried unsuccessfully to tear him down." -- Bob Bowen, president of the U.S. Bicycling Hall of Fame.
"Daniel de Visé explores one of cycling’s epic duels, on the final day of the 1989 Tour de France when America’s Greg LeMond had recovered from a life-threatening shotgun blast to score a heroic come-from-behind triumph over France’s Laurent Fignon. In The Comeback, de Visé portrays the complex personalities of LeMond and Fignon in a narrative freighted with nuanced analyses, thorough research, and a narrative that rocks." -- Peter Joffre Nye, cycling historian, author of Hearts of Lions and The Fast Times of Albert Champion.
Some stories have legs. When newsroom folk use that term, they mean that an article has a life of its own. Stories "with legs" refuse to die; they endure for days, or weeks, or months, defying the fickle 24-hour news cycle.
On November 28, the Raleigh News & Observer published a review of Andy and Don penned by Eric Frederick.
"Well, I'll be," Eric began. "They really did love each other."
The review delved deep into the manuscript and pulled out a wonderful analogy, first posited by a TV Guide reporter in the early 1960s, that neatly sums up the friendship at the heart of the book. The writer compared Andy and Don to Damon and Pythias, the characters from Greek legend who personified the Pythagorean ideal of male friendship. Damon offers his life as collateral for Pythias, who wishes to see his family before his execution. In tribute to the friendship, both men are set free.
"Neither Andy nor Don ever had to offer his life for the other," Eric writes. "But de Visé points out that Andy did sacrifice a good part of his ego, and his role as top banana on his own show, to play the straight man while his pal got the laughs. The result was a partnership that made them both legends, and a friendship that will be outlasted only by their fame."
Eric's review went out on the wire, an electronic marketplace for editors looking for good stories from other papers. Since then, the News & Observer review has run in more than 20 other newspapers, including The Kansas City Star, The Charlotte Observer, the Miami Herald, The Sacramento Bee, The Modesto Bee, The Lexington Herald-Leader, the Idaho Statesman, the Knoxville News Sentinel, the Merced Sun-Star, the Belleville News-Democrat, the Bradenton Herald, the Hanford Sentinel, The State of Columbia, South Carolina; The Tribune of San Luis Obispo, California; The Sun Herald of Biloxi, Mississippi; The Herald of Rock Hill, South Carolina; the Ledger-Enquirer of Columbus, Georgia; The Sun News of Myrtle Beach, Florida; LNP of Lancaster, Pennsylvania; the Missoulian of Missoula, Montana; The Journal Gazette of Fort Wayne, Indiana; and the Herald & Review of Decatur, Illinois.
So, thank you - - to Eric for writing the review, to the News & Observer for printing it, and to all the other newspapers for picking it up.