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Between the Lines: My Autobiography Hardcover – 13 Sep 2012


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: HarperSport; 1st Edition edition (13 Sept. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007327528
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007327522
  • Product Dimensions: 15.9 x 3.3 x 24 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (134 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 150,211 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Book Description

Between the Lines is a groundbreaking account of a decade at the peak of professional sport – as told by the most compelling and fascinating character in British sport.

From the Back Cover

Between the Lines is a groundbreaking account of a decade at the peak of professional sport – as told by the most compelling and fascinating character in British sport.

Between the Lines is a groundbreaking account of a decade at the peak of professional sport – as told by Victoria Pendleton, the most compelling and fascinating character in British Cycling.
It offers a gripping insight into the tangled and often secret world of an Olympic and world champion. Pendleton, with bruising intimacy, lays bare the tortuous twists and turns of her extraordinary career.
As she wins multiple world, European and national championships, and strives to defend her Olympic title at London 2012, Victoria Pendleton reveals the doubts and fears she has faced and overcome – from the most harrowing moments of a deeply personal crisis to the exacting test of nerve at the highest level of Olympic sport.
After a remarkable decade at the top of world cycling, Victoria, the imperious sprint champion, looks back over her tumultuous life and chronicles her journey from a distressing and harmful insecurity to the peak of gold medals, world titles and glossy magazine covers.
Between the Lines affords us a rare, behind-the-scenes account of the relationships and enmities that consume the most private corners of professional athletes. Written with Donald McRae, the award-winning author who has twice won the William Hill Sports Book of the Year, the book shatters the mould of the conventional sporting biography – and tells a deeply human story of pain and glory, love and doubt, failure and triumph. It is a book that will appeal to anyone who has ever been doubted or tested – and forced to find the best within themselves.


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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 30 people found the following review helpful By J.M.B. on 15 Sept. 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have been following Victoria's journey since her World Championship win in 2005. I have been awaiting this book with much anticipation to see the journey from the inside. I don't review books normally, but I found this an engaging personal story that I would whole-heartedly recommend.

It offers a close up and personal insight of the personalities behind the scenes both at British Cycling and in her personal relationships. Chapter 3 `Lost in the mountains' is aptly titled, and for me was the turning point that spearheaded her career forward as a world-class athlete.

An essential companion to this book is Dr Steve Peters: The Chimp Paradox. It offers an understanding of the psychological support that helped her manage this emotional roller coaster.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By K. G. A. Alavi on 15 April 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a great autobiography, open and honest. I enjoyed the book a lot more because of Victoria's honesty. I enjoyed this book a lot more than I thought I would. I have read a lot of autobiographies from the male cyclists and have to say aside form a couple of mentions I did not know a great deal about Victoria Pendleton (VP). So I can see and understand how she can feel slightly undervalued despite her great and many accomplishments. The thing that separates this book is that it is VP's whole career and more importantly life to this point. This allow VP to spotlight some problems other athletes could be facing today, and let them know they are not alone and can get help.

The books starts at the Beijing Olympics 2008 and VP getting ready for her for the Olympic final. She mentions the people are around her and the mental preparation she need to ride and win at the elite level. From here on I was hooked into this book. The book then goes back and follows a more chronological order with VP being the little girl riding after her dad up the hill, trying to keep pace with him. She credits these rides as the foundation for all her future success.

The book is very emotional, (which I prefer to an author just throwing facts at me), and allows a reader to be part of VP journey, and understand how she is feeling in the moment. It does not just cover the gruelling physical training needed to become an athlete, the mental aspects, the sacrifices, the rewards and the emotions toils and highs. Probably as this book is written after VP's career has ended she is able to talk about issues and people she might now have been able to speak about if she was still competing.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By russell clarke TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 7 Oct. 2012
Format: Hardcover
Caught up , like a great deal of the populous , by the summer Olympics I watched as much as I could and came to be particularly riveted by events in the velodrome . I came to a conclusion that the cycling authorities, vexed at the domination of the British cycling team were looking at any excuse to deny us a medal , especially gold's. Nowhere was this more obvious than in the final of the sprint between Victoria Pendleton and her arch-nemesis, the uncompromising Aussie Anna Meares, where Pendleton was disqualified and the bullying Meares allowed to indulge in her usual boisterous antics unhindered.
Victoria Pendleton's reaction to that defeat was one of sportsmanship and relief . The first because ...well she is a great sportswoman , the second because she was just so glad it was finally all over.
Which comes as no surprise once you read this excellent book and realise what she had to go through to get where she did. As a child she would go out cycling every Sunday with her father , a gifted amateur cyclist who would uncompromisingly drag her after him, never relenting in his own pace or checking on how she was doing . Just towing her along and expecting her to keep up. Once her abundant talent became obvious and she made her way through the cycling levels she was often disparaged and discouraged by coaches who thought her too skinny , not tough enough ......in short too girly. One pompous official in British Cycling told her "Miss Victoria....I'm going to find you very annoying ".
Victoria Pendleton is a complex sportswoman , beset by self doubt and nerves and often finding the whole rigmarole of professional sport so stressful and painful that she resorted to self harm .
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By C. Kidd on 13 Dec. 2013
Format: Paperback
Over the last few months I've been reading Between the Lines: My Autobiography by Victoria Pendleton. Over the last few years she's been the heroine of British cycling leading the shift from an amateur second class sport to one that rightly stands alongside the likes of Sir Chris Hoy and Sir Bradley Wiggins.

The book covers the highs - including the numerous world, Olympic, European and national championships that she won - but also some of the lows. As a child she caught the cycling bug from her dad who was a well known amateur cyclist. He was uncompromising in his training, and he encouraged and pushed her to chase him up and down the hills. From here she was spotted by national talent coaches but time and time again she struggled because she wasn't seen to have the body fit of a cyclist, being too skinny, one official in British Cycling even told her "Miss Victoria....I'm going to find you very annoying ". Like many sports people (just think of Marcus Trescothick and Jonathan Trott to name two) Victoria has often struggled with self-doubt, depression and at times this has sadly led to self-harm.

What was most surprising to me was the difficult politics within British Cycling, especially concerning her relationship with Dr. Scott Gardner, a sprint specialist coach, who was forced out when his relationship with Victoria became public, to the annoyance of much of the squad who blamed her for his departure. She also talks candidly of the sexism rife in the sport, the way in which Sir Chris Hoy had so many more opportunities to win medals purely because he was a man.
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