Books

The Secret Race – Tyler Hamilton with Daniel Coyle

Brilliantly detailed and wholly convincing: with Coyle’s skill and Hamilton’s honesty, the book was always likely to be excellent. This is no generalised or theoretical exploration of a doping culture but a forensic description of how it worked. Armstrong used to say there would always be sceptics who didn’t believe in his story, but now the sceptics are those who, ostrich-like, continue to believe. They should be compelled to read this book, and though the collision with reality will cause them to shudder, the good news is that they will be riveted by a well-told story and will be the better for knowing the truth. — David Walsh Sunday Times 20120916 The broadest, most accessible look at cycling’s drug problem to date. New York Times 20120911 The news leaks about The Secret Race have vastly undersold its importance. Tyler Hamilton’s book is a historic, definitive indictment of cycling’s culture of doping during the Armstrong era. Here’s the reality. The Secret Race isn’t just a game changer for the Armstrong myth. It’s the game ender. No one can read this book with an open mind and still credibly believe that Armstrong didn’t dope. It’s impossible. That doesn’t change the fact that he survived cancer and helped millions of people through Livestrong, but the myth of the clean-racing hero who came back from the dead is, well, dead. The book is the holy grail for disillusioned cycling fans in search of answers. The book’s power is in the collected details, all strung together in a story that is told with such clear-eyed conviction that you never doubt its veracity.

Slaying the Badger – Richard Moore

Greg LeMond, ‘L’Americain’: fresh-faced, prodigious newcomer. This is supposed to be his year. Bernard Hinault, ‘The Badger’: aggressive, headstrong, five-time winner of the Tour. He has pledged his unwavering support to his team mate, LeMond. The team is everything in cycling, so the world watches, stunned, as LeMond and Hinault’s explosive rivalry plays out over three high-octane weeks. “Slaying the Badger” relives the adrenaline and agony as LeMond battles to become the first American to win the Tour, with the Badger relentlessly on the attack.

The Tour de FranceGraeme Fife

In this updated edition of the highly acclaimed “Tour de France”, Graeme Fife sets the 2012 race in the context of the event’s remarkable history, stretching back to July 1903. Combining meticulous research with a pacy narrative style, he penetrates the mystique of the race and paints a colourful picture of the men whose exploits have given the Tour an enduring universal appeal. Moreover, the book now celebrates a truly historic event: the 99th edition of the race was won, for the first time, by a Briton. Bradley Wiggins pedalled into the record books, in company with his teammates Christopher Froome, who came second, and Mark Cavendish, the current world road race champion, whose 23 stage wins make him the Tour’s most prolific sprinter. Laced with tales of great solo rides, amazing fortitude, terrible misfortune and triumph, “Tour de France” is the definitive account of this extraordinary competition. Named one of the top-five sports books of the year by both “The Independent” and “The Times”, it is the essential guide to the Tour.

Born to Ride – Stephen Roche

On 6 September 1987, Stephen Roche touched greatness. Victory at the World Cycling Championship in Austria completed a near-unprecedented triple crown that included triumphs in the same year at the Tour de France and the Giro dItalia. In April, against all odds, he fought his own team and an angry, partisan Italian crowd who spat at him on his way to taking the Giro. In July a superhuman effort at La Plagne saw him secure the yellow jersey just before he blacked out. Roches victory in Austria confirmed his virtuosity. Born to Ride, Stephen Roches first full autobiography, uses his best year as the starting point to explore the rest of his life. He doesnt hold back as he examines the many ups and downs of his time on and off the bike, scrutinising victories, defeats, rivals, serious injury, doping allegations and agonizing family breakdown. At the heart of the book lies an enigma. For all his charm and rare, natural talent, beneath the surface lies an incredible tenacity and determination. Roche finally reveals himself as a smiling assassin; a master-strategist who lives to attack.

How I won the yellow jumperNed Boulting

‘Paris, 4 July 2003: My first Tour de France. I had never seen a bike race. I had only vaguely heard of Lance Armstrong. I had no idea what I was doing there. Yet, that day I was broadcasting live on television. I fumbled my way through a few platitudes, before summing up with the words, “…Dave Millar just missing out on the Yellow Jumper.” Yes, the Yellow Jumper.’ Follow Ned Boulting’s (occasionally excruciating) experiences covering the world’s most famous cycling race. His story offers an insider’s view of what really goes on behind the scenes of the Tour. From up-close-and-personal encounters with Lance Armstrong to bewildered mishaps with the local cuisine, Ned’s been there, done that and got the crumpled-looking t-shirt. Eight Tours on from Ned’s humbling debut, he has grown to respect, mock, adore and crave the race in equal measure. What’s more, he has even started to understand it.

 

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