Cycling books: recommendation and avoid - Racing only

Discussion in 'Pro Cycling (Road and Track Racing)' started by Noodley, 17 Nov 2011.

  1. Noodley

    Noodley Guest

    Thought it might be good to start a pre-Christmas Racing thread, only for books related to Racing - none of the other stuff, if you have "other stuff" post it where people post about "other stuff":

    I'll kick of with my most recent 'good reads':

    Nicolas Roche - Inside the Peloton: interesting insight into living in the shadow of his dad, a nice reflection on his family life, the pressures of being a pro, the 'normal' life of a pro cyclist aspiring to great things and the part played by the team. Quite a bit is the day by day accounts of Grand Tour diaries published in an Irish newspaper but well worth a read. A 'human' account.

    Richard Moore - Slaying the Badger: I have just started reading this, but even after the first few chapters (100 pages or so) I anticipate this is gonna be a great read. Covers Hinault and Le Mond and is a fascinating insight into 2 of cycling's "greats"

    And really crap books to avoid:

    Manuela Ronchi - Man on the Run: The life and death of Marco Pantani; a lot of total tosh, self serving rubbish and IMO just written to make more money out of her relationship with Pantani. If you want a great book on Pantani then read Matt Rendell's book! Which I would have added to my good book list but wanted to keep it to 2 of each...hey ho! Only worth a read if you have read Rendell's book just to reinforce jusy how bad it is!!

    Pablo Munoz - Miguel Indurain: A life on wheels; competing with the book by Ronchi as the biggest load of cock ever not even think of it. Seriously.

    Feel free to debate views...
  2. StuAff

    StuAff Silencing his legs regularly

    +1 for Slaying the Badger. Read it last week. Brilliant book. The story of the '86 Tour was new to me and Moore brought it brilliantly to life.

    Also thoroughly enjoyed, though with more than a tinge of sadness at the passing of its author, Laurent Fignon's 'When We Were Young and Carefree'.
  3. Flying_Monkey

    Flying_Monkey Toll Collector on the Road to Nowhere

    Matt Rendell is just excellent all round. His book on Colombian cyclists in the 1980s, Kings of the Mountains, is my fav.
    John the Monkey likes this.
  4. YahudaMoon

    YahudaMoon Über Member


    'Bradley Wiggins In Persuit Of Glory'

    This came out sometime in 2009 and considering he was only half way through his career I thought I give it go anyway. I'm not a lover of autobiography's especially when the person is only in the 20's

    Anyway it started of OK for about the first 30 pages or so going on about his youth as a child and his father's racing days and how his dad left him and his mother.

    After that it kinda went down hill as it was all about me, me, me and racing.

    Got bored before I got half way through it and ditched it.


    'Lance Armstrong It's Not About The Bike'

    I never liked Lance Armstrong, mainly for the reson he was the guy from across the pond taking most the credit in the big race

    Im sure anyone who's read it won't be saying 'avoid'

    'Brian Smailes LEJOG'

    OK I suppose though I wouldn't do LEJOG on this book alone ! though for £2.00 of Amazon it's worth a read for his knowledge if your going to give LEJOG a shot.

    As for a normal book read with no intention of doing LEJOG it's a pointless read really .

    Didnt read the OP again. You mean new books. Not read any new ones :ohmy:
  5. OP

    Noodley Guest

    Yep, a briliant book.
  6. rich p

    rich p ridiculous old lush

    I, personally, found Matt Rendell's book a bit too dry and full of numbers for my tastes. I'm not keen on his style of writing and ended up speed reading passages but each to his own.

    The David Millar book, Racing Through the Dark, is a great insight into why and how riders can end up doping. An honest appraisal of his own failings.

    I recently read Shay Elliot, the life and death of Ireland's yellow jersey by Graham Healy which was just above average as a read although not great literature. It was a bit of a revelation to me how much he had achieved long before Kelly and Roche.
  7. lukesdad

    lukesdad Guest

    Halfway through Fignon s book and its not the greatest read to be honest, I prefer a Biography really.
  8. Milemuncher

    Milemuncher Regular

    Aberdeen, Scotland
    Agreed. I didn't expect to enjoy it, but it carried me along. A dark story well told.

    I think Tim Krabbe's The Rider is brilliant. Its a fictional account of a road race, but very evocative. It's also dirt cheap from Amazon (that would be the Scot in me coming out!)
    John the Monkey likes this.
  9. ColinJ

    ColinJ It's a puzzle ...

    You beat me to it! There aren't many books that I read once every couple of years, but that is one of them.
  10. iLB

    iLB Hello there

    Le Metier, Michael Barry. Class.
  11. threebikesmcginty

    threebikesmcginty Corn Fed Hick...

    ...on the slake
    I enjoyed Fignon's book - ok it's one guys personal angle on things so everyone might not agree on the content but it was very readable and enjoyable.
  12. Smokin Joe

    Smokin Joe Legendary Member

    The worst cycling book I've ever read, in fact one of the worst books I've ever read full stop.

    I'm another who's half way trough Fignon's book at the moment, a very good read and an honest account of the (largely ineffective) doping and the race fixing that was the norm for decades.

    Vin Denson's autobiography was excellent, as was Put Me Back on My Bike. I've got Wide Eyed and Legless (the story of the ANC Halfords ill fated raid on the 1997 TdF) waiting for me to start so I'll give my impressions of that another time.

    And anyone who still hasn't read A Rough Ride really ought to.
  13. Willo

    Willo Well-Known Member

    Recent books I've read and enjoyed (2 of which endorse / confirm Noodley's recommendations):

    - Wide Eyed and Legles, Jeff Connor. I thought it was an entertaining read. Follows the ANC Halfords team on the '87 TdF

    - Slaying the Badger, Richard Moore

    - Currently about half-way through Nicholas Roche, Inside the Peloton and really enjoying it. As said, parts repeat his TdF diaries in the Irish press but not having read those previously, they're really interesting for me.

    - Also enjoyed David Millar's book
  14. OP

    Noodley Guest

    would like to read that...
  15. Doseone

    Doseone Veteran

    Agreed. Dreadful Book. It's not even well written.

    Whatever you may think of him Paul Kimmage's Rough Ride is an excellent insight in to what is hopefully a bye-gone era.
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