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Boy Racer [Paperback]

Mark Cavendish
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (92 customer reviews)
RRP: 7.99
Price: 5.59 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

3 Jun 2010

Boy Racer steps behind the scenes of the Tour de France. It unmasks the exotic, contradictory, hysterical and brutal world of professional cycling from the compellingly candid viewpoint of someone right in the thick of it.

Written off as 'fat' and 'useless' in his youth, Mark Cavendish is now one of cycling's brightest stars and one of Britain's greatest ever cyclists. Some have called him cocky, but to anyone who doesn't like his style, Mark will simply shrug his shoulders and reply, 'I know I'm good. There's no point lying about it.'

Peers say that they have never seen anyone with Cavendish's hunger for success and while this fearlessness - both in the saddle and on the record - has at times led to controversy, it has also earned him the respect of ever more fans.

In Boy Racer we follow him through the mayhem of the Tour de France in a page-turning journey of pure exhilaration.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Ebury Press (3 Jun 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0091932777
  • ISBN-13: 978-0091932770
  • Product Dimensions: 12.6 x 2.5 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (92 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 42,241 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"Britain's best ever Tour de France cyclist" (ProCycling Magazine)

"The hottest sprinter in the world" (Daily Telegraph)

"Boy Racer...catch[es] the inner conflict between the impetuousness that makes Cavendish such a daunting competitor and the introspection that makes him such an interesting person" (Guardian)

"Refreshingly frank and entertaining" (Scotland on Sunday)

"Highly personal and revelatory and gives you a unique insight to one of Britain's most successful and respected sportsmen" (Telegraph)


"Boy Racer - expertly ghosted by the cycling journalist Daniel Friebe to catch the inner conflict between the impetuousness that makes Cavendish such a daunting competitor and the introspection that makes him such an interesting person - winds its way to the top step of the podium from BMX races as a ten-year-old via spells as a bank clerk in the Douglas branch of Barclays and as a resident of the academy run by British Cycling." --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars As brutally honest as he is fast 6 Sep 2009
By tsl04
I have read a large number of sporting books in my time; some very good, many distinctly mediocre. This might just be the best one I have ever read.

Love him or loathe him - and it is difficult to be anywhere in between - Mark Cavendish is to sprinting on two wheels what Usain Bolt is to sprinting on two legs. If road cycling had anywhere near the same profile in the UK as athletics does, more people would be idolising this young man in the same way as the incredible Jamaican athlete.

Cavendish's autobiography weaves the tale of his four stage wins at the 2008 Tour de France with his life story up to and including his win at the 2009 Milan-San Remo classic. Although the book covers only the first two-and-a-bit years of a pro career which still (hopefully) has many successful years to come - and therefore does not include his six stage wins at the 2009 Tour - there is so much packed into the 340-odd pages that it does not feel padded at all.

The book reads in much the same way the man himself conducts himself in interviews: he shoots from the hip with his heart on his sleeve, occasionally inserting foot in mouth. But anyone who has ever seen Cav interviewed would expect no less: in a PC, PR-conscious world, here is a sportsman who is as brutally honest as he is fast. At times it is painfully obvious who he does and does not respect in the cycling world, and yet he is surprisingly self-critical, self-effacing and not afraid to admit when he has been proven wrong about someone. The book is full of little insights into the mindset of a master practitioner and behind-the-scenes revelations of what it is like to be a professional road cyclist, which make this a cut above the average sporting autobiography.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I was glued! 24 May 2012
By hilldo
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
for a boy who is constantly being told to read more books my mum brought this to get me reading because i love cycling and Mark Cavendish is an inspiration to me. I stayed in my room for a hole week of my holidays reading this book over and over and i think this is an brilliant book!! sorry if my English is bad!
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Top man 28 Jun 2009
By Quintax
I found `Boy Racer' to be an immensely satisfying and intriguing insight into the most talented sports star ever to emerge from the Isle of Man. Interspersed with his recount of his momentous achievements in the 2008 Tour de France and paradoxically calamitous under-achievement in the Beijing Games, is a heartfelt and moving account of his life and driving passions. This book is about a man with an unerring sense of self belief, whose drive and will to win define him.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Still too young for Bio 1 Dec 2011
By Duke
Format:Kindle Edition
An excellent insight into the teamwork that exists in a racing team. I thought i understood how they work for each other but never quite realised to this extent.

Mark's admiration for George Hincapie just goes to confirm what i had heard about this great man.

I admire Mark's honesty about other people, and also about his own personality, however i just felt he should have written this book in another 5 or 7 years where he could have spoken more about his successful tours.

Don't get me wrong, still a good book, but could be better with age!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Behind the Manx Missile 8 July 2011
Mark Cavendish is the fastest man on two wheels. Born in the Isle of Man in 1985 he discovered as a teenager that although he was a slightly tubby lad with rather short legs and a passion for junk food he had a love of cycling and an amazing passion for winning. This autobiography gives a little background into his younger days. He then rapidly moves the story through his teenage championships to reach the British academy and then finally his move into Prefessional racing.

Mark is a man who always appears to wear his heart on his sleeve and he tends to be very emotional. The Manxman admits that he can be volatile and outspoken but also points out that he is a comparatively young rider to be in the spotlight and he is obviously maturing and behaving in a more appropriate way now. Throughout this book Cavendish talks about his various teammates as well as many riders who are on other teams but whom he has had regular contact. I found this interesting as it was nice to find out what an "insider" had to say about names that I held in high regard or who I particularly disliked in the cycling world. However I must say that I thought his book showed great discretion and often when he mentioned incidents with particular people he would often mention his own inappropriate behaviour with regard to the same incident.

The layout of the book is rather confusing. The introduction gives a brief overview of some races and his interactions with certain characters. Each chapter is then headed as a Stage of the 2008 Tour De France. The chapter then incorporates the details of that days stage; this may be a few lines if it was a mediocre stage to a blow by blow account of most of the race if there were things of significance to Cavendish or his team.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hugely entertaining 3 July 2009
This book is one of the most frankly written books on cycling that I have in my collection. Cavendish takes us on a whistle stop tour of his life and career to date. In parts hilarious, in other parts sad, he does not let his famed ego get in the way of the story but tells it as he sees it - to hell with the consequences. It will not make comfortable reading for a few people; but if you want an entertaining read (cyclist or not) then you could do a lot worse than buy this book. His awe inspiring description of the unfolding seconds of his victories is incredibly vivid and puts you right into his zone. The closest I have ever come to visualizing what it is like to win a stage of the TDF came whilst holding this book.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Mark's Early Story
A Story of how Mark Got into the British Amature Team, both Track and Road. His way into Pro Cycling and his rise to winning Stages in the Major tours. A Good read.
Published 3 days ago by Violet
3.0 out of 5 stars Ok for a first book
Cav has to be one of my current favorite cyclists.outspoken , passionate, down to earth etc. The book however was disappointing. Read more
Published 23 days ago by Stevo
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Read
Good book, like the way this is written, the chapters styled as tour stages. A worthy read for any Cav fan.
Published 3 months ago by Si
5.0 out of 5 stars interesting
Book shows how and why he started and his motivation. It also gives his version of events in various races, very good and very interesting. Excellent buy for cycling fans.
Published 3 months ago by littlet
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent!
Excellent, brilliant, good, fun, Mark Cavendish is my hero so what else can I say. Down to earth, great character.
Published 4 months ago by K. Dalby
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read
A really good read and a nice insight into Mark Cavendish.
I'm not a big reader but I hardly put this book down.
Published 4 months ago by Dave P
5.0 out of 5 stars Dedication
Determination and arrogance both needed to become a cycling legend. A great read of a book giving encountered highs and also lows in a young professionals career. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Nicky sowter
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating
It is rare that I read an autobiography that I can't put down but I find that I cannot wait to get back to Cav! Read more
Published 8 months ago by B Manos
4.0 out of 5 stars compelling read for a weekend Surrey Hills cyclist!
Tremendous look behind the scenes of Cav's ride to the top - and we know there has to be a follow-up!
Published 8 months ago by njgb
3.0 out of 5 stars Unlike Cav, the book is good, but not great
For a self confessed Cav fan this book has to come as a little bit of a disappointment. Compared to other cycling autobiographies out there you get, in my opinion, very little feel... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Luke
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