Friday, 27 January 2012


I seem to remember mentioning I would post a list of cycling books that are worth a read... so here it is.

Tour de Force - Daniel Coyle
This is a favourite - it gives an in-depth view of Lance Armstrong, what makes him tick, his relationships, his obssesive training regimes etc, its a warts and all story of the complex sport of cycling and the most gruelling race in the world. EXCELLENT!!!

Sex Lies & Handlebar Tape - Paul Howard
The story of 5 time tour winner Jaques Anquetil - wine, women, women and... more women.

The Flying Scotsman - Graeme Obree
A moving but sometimes difficult book that takes us into the troubled world of one of a cycling genius

The Escape Artist - Matt Seaton
Excellent writing on a lifelong obsession with cycling that many will relate to.

The Beautiful Machine - Graeme Fife
Excellent to begin with - maybe tails off in the last third - but beautiful writing from this ex classics schoolmaster.

Fallen Angel - William Fotherigham
Tells the tragic story of Fausto Coppi's life and death - of how a man who became the symbol of a nation's rebirth after the disasters of war died reviled and heartbroken. Told with insight and intelligence, this is a unique portrait of Italy and Italian sport at a time of tumultuous change.

It's all about the Bike - Robert Penn
A joyful read - written with a Brysonesque facility for concentrating a lot of information and research into an easy-to-read format.

The Agony and the Ecstasy - Stephen Roche
I think this is the first cycling book I ever bought - back in 1988 - first edition - might be worth a few quid? It's the story of the making of a cycling champion. It follows Roche's growth from home-town Dublin boy into a young European, famous in every city where cycling is a major sport, and the astonishing series of wins in 1987 that were to make him a sporting legend. "The Agony and the Ecstasy" takes us behind the scenes of triumph and into the mysterious world of cycling, showing us what life for top professionals is really like. It covers the roads, the races and the riders themselves - how they live and train, their battles with the elements on great marathons, the crowds and their role in morale, the dangers of the sport, and the elation or despair when the finish line is reached.

In Search of Robert Millar - Richard Moore
A classic bird-like climber, light and wiry in build, Millar was the best British cyclist, all round, since Tom Simpson - This book is a fine portrait of Britain's most successful Tour de France cyclist. (until Cav!) The author's meticulous and lively book traces Millar's journey from Glasgow's tenements to the Alps and the Pyrenees, in whose company he had few peers.

Racing Through the Dark - David Millar
I haven't read this book - in fact i don't have it yet - but it's on my radar. I've seen Millar on TV and read some of his stuff in various mags and newspapers - he is intelligent and articulate - I'm sure it will be one worth reading

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