My Epic Fall from Cycling Superstardom to Doping Dead End

By Thomas Dekker


Thomas Dekker’s award-winning, international best-seller is a cautionary tale for everyone who loves professional cycling.


The Award-Winning, International Best-Seller

“I have success, money, women. I’ve been lionized by the public and the press. The world is at my feet. I’ve spread my wings and here I am, soaring above everything and everyone. But in reality, the descent has already begun.”

At age 20, Thomas Dekker was already earning €100,000 a year—as an amateur bike racer. The next year, he turned pro and his salary quadrupled then rose again to €900,000 as he established his position as a super-domestique among Europe’s wealthiest superteams. The sport marveled at Dekker’s rise as the young racer set his ambitions on capturing cycling’s biggest prizes for himself. Before long, though, Dekker found himself corrupted by money, dazzled by fame, and cracking under the relentless pressure to perform at a superhuman level.

In his international bestseller, DESCENT: My Epic Fall from Cycling Superstardom to Doping Dead End, Dekker reveals a sordid way of life full of blood bags, drugs, prostitutes, and money. DESCENT tells the story of a yearslong bender that exposes the brutal truth of his life as a professional cyclist. And Dekker is not alone; he names those who fell with him and those who aided in his downfall. In DESCENT, we take an unflinching look at the European peloton as it roars through its modern boom years—the height of the EPO era—and what we see is shocking. You won’t be able to turn away from this page-turning read about one man’s rise, fall, and redemption and what his story reveals about professional sports.

Read excerpts from DESCENT! Click here.

DESCENT: My Epic Fall from Cycling Superstardom to Doping Dead End
Thomas Dekker with Thijs Zonneveld
6″ x 9″, 224 pp., $18.95, 9781937715809

Descent: My Epic Fall from Cycling Superstardom to Doping Dead End

Thomas Dekker


Shipping Dimensions: 6in x 9in x .63in 224pp $18.95, Inventory 9781937715809, Shipping .7lbs

1. In the Hotel

2. Dead Ordinary

3. Love at First Sight

4. First Call

5. Junior Camp

6. The Commitment

7. First Shot

8. Jacques the Manager

9. Initiation

10. A Boost for the Worlds

11. The Coach

12. The Territory

13. Your Blood Is Your Blood

14. No Worries

15. One Is Not Enough

16. Stepping Up

17. A Hippie in Love

18. The 2007 Tour de France

19. It’s You, Not Me

20. Trickier Than You’d Think

21. Doing Without

22. Positively Positive

23. Give Them Nothing

24. Falling

25. Wiped Out

26. Lifeline

27. Cards on the Table

28. Ashes and Embers

29. Adrift

30. The Stupidest Idea Ever

31. The Attempt

32. Big Talk, Small Talk, No Talk

33. A Turn of the Tables

34. The Story of My Descent


About the Coauthor

For more info, take a look at this Descent Chapter Summary.

Preview book.

“The most shocking doping memoir professional cycling has produced.” —Daniel Friebe, author of Eddy Merckx: The Cannibal

“A remarkable story of a fallen cycling hero.” —

“Brutally honest.” —CyclingNews

“It’s been a long time since there was so much ado about a cycling book. It’s a shock when you realize that a cyclist has a rock-n-roll life instead of a monk’s existence. It’s time to read it yourself and judge it.” —

“A staggering underworld of blood bags, testosterone patches, and injections. No one is spared.” —Eric Palmen, BiografiePortaal

“Thomas Dekker has done something brave here: He has opened sutured wounds with the hope that the rot will dry up. And for that alone we should be thankful.” —Erik Raschke, CyclingTips

“Let one thing be clear: For the average cycling lover, this is a hard confrontation with ‘dirty’ cycling.” —Laurens De Greef, Bicycletta Read & Ride

“Arguably the most shocking yet. . . . It is the uncomfortably raw, matter-of-fact descriptions of the hedonistic lifestyle of a professional cyclist just one decade ago, and the depths to which he sank as he tried to navigate his way through that minefield, which are most shocking.” —The Telegraph

“Unlike others—David Millar, Tyler Hamilton—Dekker doesn’t try to pass responsibility for his doping elsewhere: It was his choice. He shows a self-awareness that’s been lacking in most recent ’chamoirs’ and has been absent from most doping kiss-and-tells. Dekker’s willingness to accept responsibility for his own actions is refreshing.” —Podium Cafe

Descent . . . has something that one rarely comes across in a cycling memoir—vulnerability.” —Erik Raschke, CyclingTips

Descent should also be course material for cycling: Every commissaire, every DCO, every DS, every wrench monkey, everybody should be made to read Descent, not to see where Dekker failed himself but to see where the sport failed him and to learn how not to let it fail others.” —Podium Cafe

“What a relief it is to hear a former pro sportsman take responsibility for his actions. Perhaps this is what makes Descent so different; it certainly accounts for it being unputdownable.” —Sports Book of the Month

“Readers will be shocked by many passages about sex, drugs, prostitutes, and the hedonistic excessiveness and egotistical drive that it takes to succeed in pro cycling. . . . Each chapter is a conscious move toward the final stage of self-destruction, and when the end arrives, the reader, too, feels ruined.” —Erik Raschke, CyclingTips

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