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Cycling is My Life [Paperback]

Tommy Simpson
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
RRP: 8.99
Price: 6.29 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

4 Jun 2009

The cyclist Tom Simpson is a legend. The first British world champion, the first Briton to pull on the fabled yellow jersey of the Tour de France - he brought professional cycling to a nation and inspired generations of riders. His autobiography, Cycling is My Life, was written the year before he died tragically on the barren moonscape of Mont Ventoux during the 1967 Tour aged just twenty-nine. Forty years on, hundreds of fans still make the pilgrimage to the windswept memorial which marks the spot where he died.

In an age where each Tour de France seems more blighted by scandal than the next, Simpson's story is as relevant now as it was then. A man of contradictions, Simpson was one of the first cyclists to admit to using banned drugs, yet the dapper 'Major Tom' inspired awe and affection from the British public for the obsessive will to win which was ultimately to cost him his life.

First published in 1966, Simpson's autobiography is essential reading for every dedicated cycling fan and an engaging story of the life of an iconic sportsman.

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Cycling is My Life + Put Me Back On My Bike: In Search of Tom Simpson (Yellow Jersey Cycling Classics) + Fallen Angel: The Passion of Fausto Coppi (Yellow Jersey Cycling Classics)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Yellow Jersey; 1st Edition edition (4 Jun 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0224083082
  • ISBN-13: 978-0224083089
  • Product Dimensions: 13.1 x 19.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 280,633 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"The book will be an inspiration to all the thousands of youngsters starting in the sport" (Daily Express)

"An absorbing story of a man whose life has already thrilled millions" (Sporting Cyclist)

Book Description

The autobiography of the greatest British cyclist written the year before he died tragically on the Tour de France - with an introduction by cyclist David Millar.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Major Tom 30 Aug 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I first have to qualify the 4 star rating. For those of my ilk who came into cycling through the exploits of Tom Simpson, the book is 5 star necessity, the writing of it more like 3 stars. His life story and death is handled much better in my opinion by Tom's nephew Chris Sidwell and Bill Fotheringham in their respective books.

I started taking an interest in the sport initially because I thought racing bikes a thing of beauty and artistic. I knew of Simpson because he was the BBC Sport Personality of the Year in 1965. About 18 months after the award he was dead. My knowledge about the sport basically started on 14 July 1967 when reading the headlines on my paper round. The thirst became an obsession that led to joining a club and racing. This interest has never left me. I first read this book as a 15 year old in my local library and never thought I would get the chance to read it again.

Simpson's death has been reported upon 'ad nauseam' with a polarity of opinion. Those who discount his results due to drug taking and those who recognise that the drugs was an integral part of the day job. So, if we take his results on face value, then by common consent he was and remains our greatest road cyclist. San Remo, Flanders, Lombardy, World Champion besides other races firmly places him as one of the top riders of his day.

The book itself is the usual sporting biog as told by the man himself and follows a well worn path. Being Simpson there are some funnies in there, but what strikes me is how incredibly poignant it all is. Particularly the section when he refers to his avoidance of National Service when he said he hoped he wouldn't be marched over a parade ground when he was 40. How quickly fate intervened.

He's been dead 42 years now. A young man of 29 years.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting and informative read. 10 Jun 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I found this an interesting read about one of Britain's greatest cyclists. Tom Simpson was and still is, an inspiration to cyclists with an aspiration to take up bike racing. His story is still relevant, especially as modern cyclists still resort to performance enhancing drugs.
I admire the man for his tenacity! Read the book!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Tommy Simpson was my schoolboy hero 15 May 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book comes over as a real autobiography; that is, written by the author himself and not ghost written. Tom Simpson was no author; he was a bike rider and this comes over loud and clear and that's what I like about the book. It's as it was, no clever cliches, it's not a literary masterpiece. It's just a straightforward rendition of a professional cyclist's life back then in the 60's. Also, in this later publication of the book, the forward by David Millar is superb and if that is anything to go by, his forthcoming book should be a good read also. I recommend this Tom Simpson book to anyone who really loves this great sport and who can appreciate the tremendous dedication those guys had to their sport back then. It certainly wasn't an easy life even near the top, as Simpson was for some, but certainly not all, of his life as a pro cyclist. He was a fun loving, enormously charismatic and much loved, sporting hero and has been, and will continue to be, greatly missed by his fans worldwide.
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