‘This is an absolutely must-read book…Moore has cleverly used the very cogent words of others to paint a picture of real characters within a new order’ Graham Obree, Scotsman
‘A cracking story…I couldn’t put it down’ Hugh Porter, BBC cycling commentator
‘Like its hero, this book is the real McHoy.’ Scotland on Sunday
‘An excellent book’. The Sunday Times
‘…an inspiring tale. And in Richard Moore it has a splendid chronicler.’ Independent on Sunday
‘This is a must-read book that tells a story that had to be told.’ The Scotsman
‘…a gripping inside story of how Team GB’s cyclists rode to glory.’
Independent on Sunday
Fully updated to include the extraordinary scenes at London 2012, where Hoy won two more gold medals to bring his total to six and overtake Sir Steve Redgrave, this is the story of Britain's greatest ever Olympian.
Chris Hoy has been instrumental in British track cycling's remarkable transformation from also-rans to world superpower. Now, having rewritten the record books as Olympic champion in four different cycling disciplines, and with six gold medals, Hoy has become a household
name and established himself in the pantheon of sporting greats.
This is a fly-on-the-wall account of Hoy and his team as he prepared for the Beijing Olympics, where he became the first Briton in a century to win three gold medals in a single Games, and it has now been fully updated to include the extraordinary scenes at London 2012, where Hoy won two more gold medals, to bring his total to six and overtake Sir Steve Redgrave as Britain's greatest ever Olympian.
The story begins with Hoy's introduction to cycling as a BMX racer and his progression to Olympic champion, and explains the origins and evolution of Britain's world-beating team. It includes a bizarre visit to the world's highest velodrome in Bolivia and a spellbinding journey from the razzmatazz of the
European six-day circuit to the craziness of the Japanese keirin races.
Award-winning writer Richard Moore tracks Hoy throughout a season in the saddle, explores his motivations and mentors from a young age, and provides an unblemished insight into the mind of a champion and the largely unknown world of track cycling. It's a story that is fully updated with the remarkable events in Beijing in 2008 and London in 2012, two successive Olympic Games that were dominated by Hoy and the British track cycling team.
From the Author
This is the story of Chris Hoy, Olympic, world and Commonwealth champion - arguably Britain's greatest ever track cyclist - and the evolution of the world-beating team of which he is such an integral part.
That is a good question. Just how did Chris Hoy, who was first inspired to race bikes by the BMX `chase' scene in the film ET, go on to become one of the all-time greats?
One word: persistence.
Hoy tried everything: he raced BMX for years, then mountain bikes... then he dabbled in road racing and time trialling, while also playing rugby (captaining Edinburgh schools) and rowing (and winning a silver medal in the British schools' championship)... when he eventually tried track cycling, though it was obvious that this was the sport to which he was best suited, few would have predicted how good he would become...
Hoy was fortunate to emerge when he did. In 1997 British Cycling won the lottery. Like other sports, it received a cash windfall from the new National Lottery - but cycling arguably put it to better use than other sports, establishing a programme that would propel Britain's cyclists from zeros to heroes - from being the laughing stock of world cycling to the leading superpower.
By the 2008 world championships, in Manchester, Britain had become the world's top track cycling nation. And a key figure in this revolution has been Chris Hoy.
Heroes, Villains & Velodromes tells the story of Chris Hoy's years as a budding BMX-er, mountain biker and road cyclist... and his early career as a track cyclist.
It also tells the story of the British track cycling revolution - who was behind it, who is involved today and what makes them so good - including the secret development of cutting-edge equipment, the equipment `arms race' that goes on between teams, and the psychological warfare of international track cycling.
It is a story of sporting success, skulduggery, suspicions of systematic doping, psychiatry (the British team employ a clinical psychiatrist whose previous work was in a high security hospital)... and of heroes, villains and velodromes.
From the Inside Flap
What persuades an elite athlete like Chris Hoy to make a career out of one of the most difficult of cycling disciplines? How does he do it? And why? What drives him to put his body through the physical and mental hurdles to become the best in the world?
This is the story of an extraordinary year in the life of an extraordinary sportsman, one which started with his best-ever world championships in Mallorca - where he became a double world champion - continued with his attempt on the world kilometre record in Bolivia, moved on to Japan where he spent three months riding the crazy keirin circuit, before returning to training at the world-class Manchester velodrome in the buildup to the 2008 World Championships and Beijing Olympics.
Acclaimed author Richard Moore has attained unprecedented levels of access to the key members of the all-conquering British team and its support staff, including top coaches, world-renowoned psychiatrists and doctors (for whom the subject of drug abuse is an ever-present shadow), and all the pivotal characters behind the scenes.
By shadowing Chris Hoy in the lead up to the Olympics, Richard Moore provides an unembellished insight into the mind of a world champion and a penetrative understanding of the hitherto guarded world of track cycling.
From the Back Cover
Chris Hoy, the reigning Olympic, World and Commonwealth champion, has been instrumental in British track cycling's remarkable transformation from also-rans to world superpower.
This is a fly-on-the-wall account of an extraordinary year in the life of an extraordinary sportsman and his team, culminating at the 2008 world championships in Manchester, where Britain claimed nine gold medals, and Hoy became the first cyclist in history to be crowned world champion in four different events.
The story begins with Hoy's introduction to cycling as a BMX racer and his progression to Olympic champion, and explains the origins and evolution of Britain's world-beating team. It includes a bizarre journey to the world's highest velodrome, in Bolivia, for an assault at the world record, and explores the mysterious world of track cycling, from the razzmatazz of the European six-day circuit to the craziness of the Japanese keirin circuit.
Award-winning author Richard Moore has attained unprecedented access to the key members of the British team and support staff, for many of whom the taboo subject of drugs is a constant concern.
By shadowing Chris Hoy and the British team in the lead up to the Beijing Olympics, Moore provides an unblemished insight into the mind of a multiple world champion and into the strange world of track cycling.
Richard Moore is the author of In Search of Robert Millar, winner `Best Biography' at the 2008 British Sports Book Awards.
About the Author
Richard Moore is a freelance journalist who has written on sport, art and literature, contributing to the Scotsman, Scotland on Sunday, Herald, Guardian and Sunday Times. He was a member of the Scotland team in the Prutour, the nine-day cycling tour of Britain, and represented Scotland in the 1998 Commonwealth Games. His first book for HarperSport, In Search of Robert Millar, won Best Biography at the 2007 British Sports Book Awards.