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Between the Lines: My Autobiography [Hardcover]

Victoria Pendleton
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (110 customer reviews)
RRP: 20.00
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Book Description

13 Sep 2012

The Golden Girl of British cycling opens up, for the first time, in searingly honest detail about what drives her to compete in a sport she no longer loves. Written with Donald McRae, 2 time winner of the William Hill Award, “Between the Lines” is THE Olympic autobiography.

Victoria Pendleton MBE is not your typical female athlete.

Admired as much by the weekly glossies as she is the newspaper back pages, she transcends her sport.

In 2005 she became first British female to win Gold at the cycling World Championships in 40 years. She followed it up with gold medals at the Commonwealth Games in 2006 and another World Championship in 2007.
Arriving in Beijing for the 2008 Olympic Games, Pendleton was on top of the world. She didn’t disappoint.
In an enthralling example of track cycling, Pendleton took Gold and joined the ranks of British Olympic heroes.
And then it started to go wrong.

Feted by the press and the public alike, behind the scenes the cracks and strains started to show. Despite retaining her World Champion status in 2009, it was a close run thing and her shield of invincibility started to drop. Victoria was falling out of love with her sport.
The sport that had made her was starting to tear her apart.

“Between the Lines” documents the considerable lows as well as the well-known highs and reveals why Victoria almost turned her back on cycling before rediscovering her Championship winning form in 2011, the day after suffering one of her most humiliating days on the track.

Hitting the shelves within a matter of weeks from the end of her Olympic programme and written with Donald McRae, two time winner of the William Hill Sports Book of the Year, “Between the Lines” promises to be the most honest and emotional book from an Olympian to date.


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Between the Lines: My Autobiography + Unbelievable: From My Childhood Dreams To Winning Olympic Gold + Bradley Wiggins: My Time: An Autobiography
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: HarperSport (13 Sep 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007327528
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007327522
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 18.6 x 24.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (110 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 74,191 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

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An emotional insight into a class athlete 15 Sep 2012
By J.M.B.
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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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
By russell clarke TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
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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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Victory For Peserverance 12 Oct 2012
By ACB (swansea) TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
Victoria Pendleton has opened her heart. What she has achieved is remarkable considering the motivational and psychological turmoil she has been through. The front cover picture is one of determination and don't mess with me. Victoria has been given physical attributes. Attractive, intelligent, yes, but they don't make an Olympic or world Champion, nor do they make up to a personality who can overcome the lack of self-confidence and self-belief that goes back to her childhood. Her career is explained with different coaches and her frowned-on relationship with Scott Gardener. The snide asides regarding this appear to have driven Victoria to despair. The sacrifices and self-punishment she has endured in pursuit of winning shine through. Her reflections of 'why and what for' are overtaken by her striving to be top of her profession. Victoria's descriptions of her emotions at reaching her goals, defeating the best, particularly the arrogant Australian Anna Meares, and standing on the podium to the National Anthem bring tears to the eyes.

Ostracised and exluded by her fellow cyclists, with Scott and Steve Peter's inspirational support, she has achieved world renown with more to come. There is a message here, even if a cliche, if you have the ability, keep going even in times of adversity. Victoria's father Max seems to have been interested in her development but not in an overtly emotional way. His attitude was important - drive and keep driving. Victoria's mother kept her feet off the pedals with a homely motherly approach. This is a remarkably open story of a remarkable woman who has pinnacled even higher in the publics' eyes since publication.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
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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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars good story
Victoria's insecurity is evident here, but struggling to accept her ability. Vulnerable, yet looking for approval from all around her.
Good insight as to her character. Read more
Published 4 days ago by allan letts
5.0 out of 5 stars very good purchase
I found this an excellent read and open ,honest and quite eye opening into her life.Highly recommend to sit and read.
Published 12 days ago by Joby
3.0 out of 5 stars book
I bought this book for the club library , some members have borrowed it and said it was good .
Published 1 month ago by Vanessa Allen-johnson
3.0 out of 5 stars A true insight
A little too technical at times but a true insight into the world of Women's cycling. Well worth a read.
Published 1 month ago by Wellysgirl
2.0 out of 5 stars Not as balanced as it should have been
The ascendancy of British Cycling has been rapid in both the men’s and women’s events. We don’t get to see the hard work day after day that delivers those results, or the anguish. Read more
Published 1 month ago by John Boy
5.0 out of 5 stars Between the Lines
All that glitters is not gold! A brilliant story telling how the life of an elite athlete is anything but glamorous.
Published 2 months ago by Maurice Wilkins
5.0 out of 5 stars victoria pendleton
was bought as a xmas present.i have been told that it is a very good read.no problems with the delivery
Published 2 months ago by Vivienne
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic autobiography of cycling's leading woman
Over the last few months I've been reading Between the Lines: My Autobiography by Victoria Pendleton. Read more
Published 4 months ago by C. Kidd
5.0 out of 5 stars The pure commitment required to be a champion
Fantastic book depicting the sheer commitment and will power required to be the best in the world. An alternative insight also into the world of British cycling success.
Published 4 months ago by Mr G Baker
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent read
a sports auto biography that is engaging and endearing. Even if you watched the TV documentary you should still get this book.
Published 5 months ago by stephen
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