7-Eleven: America’s Greatest Cycling Team is the first book to tell the full story of America’s first and greatest pro cycling team.
Founded in 1981 by Jim Ochowicz and Olympic medalist Eric Heiden and sponsored by the 7-Eleven chain of convenience stores, the team rounded up the best amateur cyclists in North America and formed them into a cohesive, European-style cycling team. As amateurs, they dominated the American race scene and won seven medals at the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles. As professionals, beginning in 1985, the team went to Europe and soon received invitations to the Tour of Italy and then the Tour de France, putting Americans on the podium in landmark victories that would change the face of American cycling forever.
Prepared with the enthusiastic cooperation of the team members and co-authored by the team’s founder, Jim Ochowicz, 7-Eleven is not only the most important missing piece in the story of American cycling, but the book that American cyclists have been waiting for ever since the 7-Eleven cowboys snagged that first yellow jersey.
About the Author
Geoff Drake is the former editor of "Bicycling "Magazine and "VeloNews," and has covered cycling events worldwide including the Tour de France and Olympic Games. During his tenure at "VeloNews," he covered Team 7-Eleven during it most important years. He also writes regularly for national motorcycle magazines and is the author of "Smooth Riding," a motorcycling book. He is an avid cyclist, a Category II road racer, and an Ironman triathlete. He lives in Aptos, California.
Jim Ochowicz is a two-time Olympic cyclist and former speedskater who cofounded the 7-Eleven cycling team in 1981. He managed 7-Eleven through 1990 and its successor, the Motorola Cycling Team, through 1996. He served six years as president of the board of directors of USA Cycling, and is currently the manager of the BMC Racing Team. He was inducted into the U.S. Bicycling Hall of Fame in 1997.
“The new Team 7-Eleven book brought back great memories.” — Eric Heiden, 5-time Olympic Gold Medalist and Team 7-Eleven cofounder
“[Team 7-Eleven] catalogues every episode, from the colorful characters to the shocking successes, in a methodical chronology of the team's decade-long run.” — Podium Café
“What wonderful and painful memories Och and Geoff brought to life in the new Team 7-Eleven book! From the early ‘Ranch Dog’ days to the Tour de France victories, the stories and level of detail are spot on. Och provided the opportunity for us cowboys to show the world we had the mettle.” — Ron Kiefel, Team 7-Eleven rider
“I greedily read Team 7-Eleven and discovered some new nuances to stories I thought I knew. Drake and Och captured the spirit of the team and brought it back to life.” — Alex Stieda, Team 7-Eleven rider and the first North American to wear the Tour de France yellow jersey
“I thought I knew a lot about the riders and their famous victories, like Andy Hampsten’s remarkable Giro d’Italia win in 1988 and Alex Steida, Jeff Pierce and Davis Phinney’s stage wins in the Tour de France. But [Team 7-Eleven] is so full of fascinating details and behind-the-scenes anecdotes that I couldn’t put it down.” — RoadBikeRider.com
“For me, Geoff and Jim’s book Team 7-Eleven passed that fact-check test. What I didn't expect was that I would get drawn into remembering the amazing bike race battles that Sergent Rock van Och lead us into. And to think that we followed him!” — Tom Schuler, Team 7-Eleven rider
“Team 7-Eleven is a true joy to read…It is an essential read if this period of cycling is one that passed you by or one that is before your time.” — TheWashingMachinePost.net
“I thank Geoff Drake for the honest way I think things are written in the book. Team 7-Eleven is very accurate. Drake puts history in a perspective that made me sentimental about what we did as a team. At the time, we didn’t know whether we were part of a vision, an impulse, or a youthful dare!” — George Taylor, 7-Eleven cycling team sports sponsorship agent
“[Team 7-Eleven’s] history is chronicled in great detail. Longtime cycling journo Geoff Drake and Jim Ochowicz (one of the team’s co-founders) highlight the trials and tribulations of putting the team on an international stage.” — NBCSports.com
“Team 7-Eleven is a lively, easy read…The kit is iconic, the team was featured in "American Flyers" and at this point are not only an important piece of cycling history, but a slice of Americana as well.” — NYVelocity.com
“The [Team 7-Eleven] book is rich in details, well-paced and very entertaining…Team 7-Eleven is an excellent addition to the history of the sport.” — Pezcyclingnews
“Team 7-Eleven is a must-read for anyone who wants to know more about the history of U.S. racing and how the groundwork was established for the eventual domination of Lance Armstrong and the current crop of top U.S. pros.” — RoadBikeRider.com
“The Team 7-Eleven book is an essential history for anyone who has ever swung a leg over the top tube of a racing …Of note, though, is how gratifying the actual reading of the book has been. For a book gourmand such as your author, Drake serves up fine writing fare by the fork full.” — Le Grimpeur