Book Review - We Might As Well Win
The "Wizard" Johann Bruyneel's tell all story of his success as a directeur
sportif. Is it a strategy for winning bike races or winning at the game of
WE MIGHT AS WELL WIN
By: Johan Bruneel with Bill Strickland
Review by Brian C. Grenier
There is NO other coach, manager, director or even player that comes to mind
that has the winning track record owned by Johan Bruyneel, 7 consecutive Tour de
France wins with a total of 8 over all ! The Tour de France stands alone as an
athletic event that melds cycling, the utter brutality and speed of hockey with
the finesse required to win a chess match spread over the canvas of the breath
taking country side of France and its surrounding European neighbors. Winning
the Tour de France once is a life time achievement, winning 7 straight and then
returning and winning again in the 9th year borders on the supernatural.
Johan Bruyneel’s book not only explains in vivid detail how this all
happened, from casual yea lets win conversations, detailed strategy meetings to
Johan’s own radio conversations with his riders as they dominated the cycling
scene for almost 9 years.
Going into this book each reader, I would assume will have their own opinion
of what and how things happened, however be ready for the truth as things played
out on TV for sure but the plan and strategy was more complex than the most
ardent follower of cycling could ever imagine. The insight gained by reading the
tactics on and off the road will not only entertain but it brings to light the
inner workings of the professional cycling world in a easy to follow straight
forward manner, the politics totally left out, only reality is used as the
Each Chapter has a focus theme or a learning point much like some text books.
These chapters cover every aspect of winning and losing to win played out on the
back drop of the speeding professional peloton. However the lessons brought
forth in the book are universal and will offer success to anyone that is willing
to become a student of them.
For this writer one phrase has stuck with me and will for life as I think it
defines the full circle of work and success. “If you’re going to expend that
first big block of effort and energy to participate, you might as well go ahead
and give what ever else it takes to win!” That makes total sense to me but that
is not the gem; Johans book is full of real world advice taken from high points
and lows and looking at everything he has written in his book the reader is left
with that firm feeling of AH HA that’s how he did it.
We Might as Well Win is a must read for any serious cyclist or cycling
follower but I would also expand that realm to the corporate board room and even
to our military leaders! These are places where winning is paramount, critical
and best if done with integrity and a plan to leave a legacy, something Johan
Bruyneel has done!
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