Cycle Publishing
Van der Plas Publications


1282 7th Avenue
San Francisco
CA 94122, USA

Tel.: (415) 665-8214



The Crooked Path to Victory

Drugs and Cheating in Professional Bicycle Racing
by Les Woodland

Format: 6 x 9 inch trade paperback
Description: 176-page text with 40 black and white photographs
ISBN: 1-892495-40-6
Price: US$18.95

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  • Fools on wheels: Cheating in six-day racing
  • Sharp end of the needle: a history of doping
  • Whatever happened to the Simpson afair?
  • The shadows behind the Festina affair
  • Bucking the system: the many ways to avoid the controls
  • May the best man win—or will he?

A timely book, revealing what many have suspected but had never been so clear before: In sports and cheating, there's nothing new under the sun.

About the book

In the light of recent revelations about doping in professional sports in America, it’s sobering to read that there’s nothing new under the sun, and this book gives a wonderful account of that phenomenon.

Whether it’s in pursuit of the Tour de France’s Yellow Jersey or the World Championship’s Rainbow Jersey, bicycle racing has not always been fair play all the way. From the early days on, the sport seems to have attracted more than its share of cheats.

In recent years, the use of doping, i.e. performance-enhancing drugs, has been getting increasing publicity, resulting in a tightening of controls — but also in more lies and denials.

In this book, author Les Woodland manages to present the entire story in a lighthearted way, without glossing over the sadness of events. And, as it turns out, not all cheating is tragic: some of it is outright funny, certainly as recounted by Woodland.

About the author

Les Woodland has been writing about bicycle racing for over 30 years. He was European correspondent for Velo News in the early days of that publication. Today, his writings still regularly appear in English and some American cycling publications. An avid cyclist himself, he recently moved to France, which he considers the world’s best place for cycling.

Table of Contents
1. Choppy Waters
2. Six-Day Wonders
3. Fools on Wheels
4. Men in Blazers
5. Simply Cheating
6. And Still More Cheating
7. Mostly Mischief
8. More Jolly Japes
9. Sharp End of the Needle
10 Testing Times
11. Bucking the System
12. Ingrained in the System
13. Supply and Demand
14. The Shadows Behind the Festina Affair
15. May the Best Man Win…
Back Matter:
Chapter Notes and Further Reading

From the contents

"What giveth?" Critical 1897 cartoon about 6-day racing.


The Simpson memorial on Mt. Ventoux, where passing cyclists leave anything ranging from flowers to broken bike parts.