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Cyclosportives: A Competitor's Guide Paperback – 25 Mar 2011


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Product details

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: The Crowood Press Ltd (25 Mar. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1847972446
  • ISBN-13: 978-1847972446
  • Product Dimensions: 16.5 x 1 x 24.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 361,261 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Jerry Clark rides over 6,000 miles per year, undertakes about twelve events a season and is a consistent 'top twenty-five finisher'. He is a 'grimpeur' and relishes mountainous events where his excellent power-to-weight ratio is crucial on the climbs, and his pro-level descending ability gains minutes over his rivals. Bill Joss is an ex-elite triathlete and quadrathlete who has competed in hundreds of major endurance events and sportives over the past twenty-five years. Undeterred by a series of major hip operations, Bill trains almost every day, regularly achieving Gold Standard finishes in the toughest UK and European sportives.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Tim on 5 Jan. 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The book is easy to read in a single sitting and illustrated with lots of photos and a few diagrams. The authors are experienced cyclists and, if their achievements are attributable to what they write in this book, it must be worth a serious look. However, there are, to the best of my understanding, far too many errors, either silly or fundamental, and there is also a lot of repetition so that, taken with the breadth of the topic, the depth is generally insufficient. Based on this, I don't think experienced cyclists will find much of value yet there is too much here to mislead the novice.

Of course, this is just based on my knowledge, understanding and experience and you may find otherwise. What follows illustrates my conclusions and I hope will help you draw your own. And, if the book still rates 5 stars for you, everyone is happy, including me.

The "geometry of a typical sportive bike" shows the wheelbase as 270 mm - this would have the wheels overlapping - and the standover (height to top tube) as 995 mm - causing most riders some pain and inconvenience (a typical inside leg being about 20 cm less).

To establish the right fore / aft position of your saddle by dropping a line from your kneecap, go to "the top of the pedal stroke" - actually, it needs to be the mid-point and that's what the photo shows.

The granny gear is "the smallest cogs at the back of the bike" and "The smallest sprockets in the cassette" - actually, the smallest on the chainring (the opposite effect of what's stated).

The seasonal kit lists are mixed up so that the authors omit items they recommended and vice versa.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Stevetup on 26 April 2011
Format: Paperback
I bought the book to "dip in and out of" and ended up reading it cover to cover! Being written by amateur riders (albeit experienced ones), the suggestions made by the authors are practical(even for those with a busy lifestyle). It is packed full of information to help with pre-event training (physical and mental), health and nutrition (the writers clearly know how to improve power to weight ratios) and sportive preparation and riding. Even as a regular sportive rider, I recognised many of the "common errors" in myself - so hope to be able to improve my performances as a direct result of this book. With renewed ambitions, I have already booked my next Sportive.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Scott Dryburgh on 16 May 2011
Format: Paperback
What struck me about this book is that it is informative, easy to read, easy to understand and, more importantly, is all inclusive.

This book represents a simple and holistic approach to all things cycling (leisure, personal fitness through to sportives etc) including the basics eg being comfortable on a bike; and the advanced eg counter steering (not for the faint hearted at +40mph).

With advice on clothing, diets, training regemes, pre-race, race and post-race events, it is hard to see how much more could be crammed into such an already, informative guide.

What enhances the usefullness of this guide is the "Experience says " points at the end of each section. This cements the learning, supports your own experiences and provides the clarity and preparation for the future.

I've done a few sportives and endurance events (2000km over 14 days) and can't help feeling that my performances (and enjoyment) would have been markedly better if only this book had been out sooner ! As it is, I'm already putting some of the advice to good use in prep for my Tip to Toe Italian blast !
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By KenB on 20 July 2011
Format: Paperback
A thoroughly comprehensive coverage of Sportive riding. All aspects of this hugely popular form of cycling are covered in a sensible level of detail by two, obviously highly experienced, amateur riders. A real must for beginning sportive-ists and a really useful read for more experienced participants too. The bike selection and bike handling sections are particularly useful but really there is no other more comprehensive sportive guide available. Buy and enjoy !
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Robert Gullen on 21 April 2011
Format: Paperback
This book clears away some of the mystique of Sportives and gives some excellent background information, tips and training guidance to help improve performance - whilst enjoying a day's cycling.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kenny G on 19 Jun. 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
We have been cycling sportives for just over a year. There are lots of books and magazine articles, but this book puts the essential knowledge into one very readable book
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As a regular cyclist who had completed a number of sportives I purchased this book to help improve my performance and it has helped me do just that! I read it cover to cover but continue to pick it up whenever I need a bit of advice or reminder on what I should have done differently on my last ride. It is written in a way that has practical and real life guidance that works, the carb loading meal plans are a great example of this. Which makes it suitable for riders of all abilities.

Definitely worth a read! Buy it, read it, get on your bike and enjoy yourself!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
For anyone aspiring to tackle their first cyclosportive in the UK or the high mountains of the Continent, or indeed anyone wanting an excellent primer on road cycling in general should need to look no further than this book. It covers many aspects of the technicalities and physicality of riding to a depth you wouldn't expect from a single book. Whilst there is no substitute for the long training miles on the road, the knowledge shared here, obviously gained through years of experience would prove invaluable to those new to the sport. For that it is highly recommended.
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