The book was written shortly after Armstrong had won the 1999 Tour de France: he went on to win it six further times in successive years, establishing a record. In 1996, he had been diagnosed with testicular cancer, which spread to his lungs, abdomen and brain, and was only given a 40 percent chance of living. This disrupted his career, but his success on his return prompted elements in the media to accuse him of doping. In light of the revelations made by the USADA investigation in 2012.
The book covers his story from childhood to the 1999 Tour, and the birth of his first child.