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Domestique: The Real-life Ups and Downs of a Tour Pro Paperback – 3 Apr 2014
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"If justice is alive and well in the world, this will be the sports book of the year 2013... a book that is well nigh impossible to put back on the shelf at the end of each chapter." (The Washing Machine Post.net)
"Interesting and revealing... the most accurate description of what being a highly-regarded domestique in the modern peloton is really like'" (Cycling Weekly)
"One of the hardest working domestiques in the sport" (Cycling Weekly)
"Couldn't put it down…the best insight into the peloton since Paul Kimmage’s Rough Ride" (William Fotheringham)
"A must read. Absolutely outstanding" (Paul Kimmage)
A remarkable true-life story from behind the scenes of professional cyclingSee all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
And it comes...patchily. Sad to say, this a fantastic story hampered by some shoddy ghost writing. Tyler Hamilton's book has been re-read three times. Why? Because, despite his use of an amanuensis, it's his voice that shines through. Likewise with Yate's biog. Here, the voice at times veers towards Alan Partridge ('I, quite literally, had the last laugh'. Maybe not, but you get the gist) or a foul mouthed 16 year old. I am not squeamish about bad language but there are some pages where you suspect that Charly's sole adjective begins with 'F'.
Criticism aside, it is well worth reading - 20 years ago, he would have been a legend, on a par with Sean Yates or Neil Stephens, the plucky super domestique sacrificing his career for the good of the team, grist to the mill of the British clubman. You only have to look at the cover photo to see just how much he has aged in his time on the bike, to see 'that hard work never hurt anyone' is utter rubbish - he buried himself day in, day out for very little in the way of recognition.
It's his memories of that time which make it worth getting.Read more ›
Robert Millar's tour exploits were 5 minutes on World of Sport on Saturday lunchtime, and you waited every week for your copy of 'Cycling' to find out what had happened in the tour, live coverage in English on tv? Forget it, when Channel 4 did 30 minutes of Tour de France every night I thought it would never get better than this, but it did, big time.
Against this backdrop, that a lad from York with no connection to the sport went abroad alone at 17, turned pro and remained employed for over a decade is nothing short of amazing.
To paraphrase Paul Sherwen on Charly's first Pro contract, 'many get a first pro deal, not many get a second', eleven year's worth is a tale in itself, with to the outside world no obvious wins to justify it; there's patently a great story to be told.
To have raced at the highest level with Evans, Basso, Cipo, Freire et al in the world's biggest races, adds to the spice but at the end of the day it's a tale of a true professional, and the realities of life once the scales have fallen from the eyes and a living has to be made.
It's a must read for anyone wanting to understand modern professional cycling, whether you're a 'mamil' inspired by Wiggo to buy a bike for the first time in 20 years or a 40 something life-long cyclist like me, who rode & raced with plenty of great cyclists who never made it - the story is even more remarkable.
CW did what ten thousand other cyclists have done at the works championships. He put his trade team, the people who pay his wages 365 days a year, infront of his country, who expect his total loyalty one day of the year. CW lived in Italy, rode for an Italian team, and rode for his Italian team leader, and doubtless followed orders from those who paid his wages. So what ? Most of us would have done the same. Like it or not.
Until very recently, GB was an also ran in world cycling. We didn't have Cav to win sprints. Or Wiggins and Froome. For most of my time as a cyclist we were lucky to get a finisher. I remember when Robert Millar got a top ten finish. He did it with the massive help of an Australian, Alan Pieper. Alan wasn't a traitor to Australia. They both rode for Peugeot, and Alan knew it made more sense to ride for Robert, his team mate, team leader and friend. That's how cycling worked back then, and still does, in most cases.
So it might be useful, Irv, if you read the book and gave an honest review. Rather than spew hate about something that happened over a decade ago. I'm sure you're pure and honest, and have never done anything that was contradictory and based on expediency. But in the real world, people do what what they have to do. He might not have liked doing it. He might have hated it. But those who pay the wages and have control of next years contract, call the tune.
I've never met CW. But to call him a traitor and give him one star is pretty pathetic. You need to wake up and understand how cycling and the world really works. Grow up. Riding a few Sportifs and reading Cycling Weakly for a year isn't the same as being a domestique and riding Grand Tours in the hardest, most brutal sport in the world.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
An ok read. Nothing special. Everything that went wrong was always the fault of someone else, not Charly.Published 10 days ago by cannondaleevo
Made a change to read the story of someone from the middle of the pack , as it were, well written and from the heart. Congratulations to Charly and let's hope there is a follow up?Published 20 days ago by rob
A well written account if the first brutish rider to break into he modern cycling world and the challenges it broughtPublished 1 month ago by Andrew Galley
Very good account of road racing and an interesting look into Italian teams.Published 3 months ago by GTurbett
This isn't a verdict on the author and his approach to his profession (e.g. the World Championship debacle in 2005), just the book. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Amazon Customer