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The Race Against Time

The Race Against Time [Kindle Edition]

Edward Pickering
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)

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Product Description


"For anyone wanting to understand the roots of British cycling's recent triumphs, The Race Against Time is essential reading, and it is Pickering's thorough research that makes it so." (Rouleur, Ian Cleverly's pick of 2013 cycling books)

"Chris Boardman and Graeme Obree are both highly individual characters and brilliant bike riders in their own right and this book from Edward Pickering does them proud with a detailed look at how they contested the Hour record throughout much of the '90s. The story telling is excellent as befits two such strong characters. Boardman could be seen as the establishment Team GB figure reserved and scientific while Obree was a working class maverick riding home-made bikes using parts of his washing machine. To a degree you can paint their rivalry as that between science and art but ultimately both were united in their quest to go faster and their quick intuitive minds. To have two such world class time trial riders going head to head simultaneously was obviously a massive short term boon to British cycling but reading this book also left me with the feeling that the constant competition between the two lies at the heart of GBs cutting edge bike technology." (Brendan Gallagher Sweetspot Cycling Book of the Year shortlist nomination)

"A great read about a wonderful episode not just in British cycling but in world cycling too. Pickering brings a fresh perspective to the telling of the tale and strips away some of the myths that surround two riders who have become living legends." (Podium Cafe)

"The bare essentials is hardly how the modern sport of cycling is best described. With the genius behind the two-wheeled success of Team GB and Team Sky Dave Brailsford describing his philosophy as the 'aggregation of marginal gains', the attention paid to the smallest engineering, physiological and psychological detail is obvious. It is an evolution that is retold quite thrillingly in Edward Pickering's book The Race Against Time. This is the story of the 1990s rivalry of Chris Boardman vs Graeme Obree and their battle for the one hour track cycling record. Boardman remains well-known today thanks to his TV work as a pundit, Obree meanwhile has become a virtual recluse, a superbly gifted athlete who doubles up as an inventor. It's a great story, which in many ways created the base for the later success of Hoy, Pendleton, Wiggins, Cavendish, Froome and Trott." (Philosophy Football, Mark Perryman's autumn sports books review)

Book Description

The fascinating and revelatory story of the epic sporting rivalry between Graeme Obree and Chris Boardman and the start of a revolution in British cycling

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 17452 KB
  • Print Length: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Transworld Digital (9 May 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00C799QSE
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #11,047 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Race Against Time 6 Jun 2013
By Carlos
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A highly entertaining and enjoyable read about a very interesting challenge is how i would sum up this book. The hour record is a fairly unique sporting challenge, you either succeed and break the record - or fail. this tells the story behind a series of attempts over a couple of years in the 1990's.

The real fascination behind the book is the difference in character of Chris Boardman and Graeme Obree. Both thought outside the box and both pushed the sport forward massively. Without doubt, British Cycling's success and Bradley Wiggins' Tour de France win owes a massive debt to both of them. This book tells how Peter Keen started a revolution in applying science to cycling - the revolution that continues to this day with Team Sky.

Chris Boardman's contribution to British cycling has been recognised but after reading this book, I felt that Obree's may have been overlooked. Graeme comes over as a complex character which helped him push the boundaries as far as he did, the knock-on effect was that Boardman & Keen also had to push the boundaries of technology to keep up. Obree was a true innovator of the type who treads the thin line between genius and madman! Certainly without each other, this story would not be anywhere as exciting and the record wouldn't have kept getting broken.

A well written book which is certainly a must for any cyclist, but also a genuinely good read for any sports fan.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A breath of fresh air into pro-cycling biography 15 Jun 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
It's been a while since I've been properly engaged into any book concerning pro-cyclists. Recent literature has been littered with drug abuse "cash in" stories or utterly tedious autobiographies, playing to a marketable achievement.

Then along comes "The Race Against Time".

Like both Obree and Boardman, I was nervous on the start line as I browsed to page one. These are two iconic cyclists with huge characters to match, offering real potential for an author to play to the reader's inherent perception as to what they are about to consume. The nerves had gone after the first chapter. Edward has clearly taken pains to offer narrative rather than judgement, his book paints the picture with just the right amount of analysis which left me nodding at the end of each chapter. I already knew the individual stories of Obree and Boardman but had never understood how intertwined they were and the potential affect that each had upon the other. Edward clearly lays this out as the narrative flicks between the two making comparison where required. I may be wrong but I detected a clear affection for both Obree and Boardman within his words. For once I appeared to be reading a book that the writer wanted to write, rather than one that his publisher thought could sell.

The writing style is excellent and accessible, the two stories are compelling and well told without the need for hyperbole. I'd urge anyone with the slightest interest in cycling to purchase this book.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellence 16 May 2013
Once started I could not put the book down. Ed brought the story of the hour and Boardman and Obrees rivalry and success to life with a series of detailed insights and pieces from other participants in the play! Well done Ed a really enjoyable read.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An enjoyable read from start to finish. 18 Aug 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I had this book recommended by a friend who came to stay with me in Japan a few months ago, and having finally got round to reading it, have to say that it was a real page-turner.

It’s quite apparent with each new chapter that the author has gone to a lot of trouble tracking down most all of the characters both on the peripheries and directly involved with Obree and Boardman during their careers. The result is an incredibly well-rounded and well-informed narrative, full of anecdotal asides which, as well as giving a fascinating insight into the rivalry between two massively talented competitors, also informs the reader of a good historical perspective as to how (partly stemming from said rivalry) a once moribund sport - at least in the UK pre early 90’s - had new life breathed into it and continues to grow in popularity post Beijing 2008 / London 2012.

The book seems to me to have been a labour of love for the author. In summary, it’s a great read, accessible to the layman or bike nut equally.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
A very interesting book but it really focused on the career of Chris Boardman. History shows that he was one of the best racers against the clock that we have ever seen, but the claims that all our more recent successes on both track and road rely entirely on the work that Boardman and his team did are surely a little to strong. What about Brailsford, Wiggins, Hoy, Pendleton? Do their efforts count for nothing? Not enough credit to Graham Obree. A very talented rider against the clock, whose remarkable experiments with bike designs and riding positions changed the way that all racing cyclist ride. He worked with only a fraction of the funding and support that Boardman received. The claims that Boardman was robbed of success in the Tour De France because of doping are something that many riders could make. Boardman's only success in the TDF came in the early time trial stages where he excelled. If you are looking for men who could ride against the clock and win the major Tours then Coppi, Anquetil, Merckx,Indurain were all the greatest in their day. Chris Boardman could never figure on this list.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent read
I loved this book from start to finish. I never realised how much Boardman achieved during his career as an amateur & a pro, but I can remember the 92 Olympics like it was... Read more
Published 4 days ago by Phil Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars Exceptionally well written. Chapeau, Mr Pickering!
This is the best cycling book I have read in a while and I have read a lot over the years. The narrative is very engaging as it delves not only into the careers of these two... Read more
Published 8 days ago by Peter Kott
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Book
Bought as a Christmas present and recipient was very pleased. Has not finished reading it yet though has enjoyed it so far
Published 6 months ago by Mrs L F Palmer
4.0 out of 5 stars Present
My cycling son in law didn't put this book down all over Christmas, so I gather it is a good buy!
Published 6 months ago by TerryB
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant!
I really enjoyed this book about one of the most intriguing rivalries in British sporting history. It wonderfully tells the story in an easy to follow, enjoyable manner. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Jonathan
4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating
For me, this book put lots of vaguely remembered facts into their correct historical context. It tells an inspirational story of two great athletes. Really enjoyed reading it.
Published 9 months ago by Em
4.0 out of 5 stars Insightful and detailed
I really enjoyed this book, though it felt as though Boardman received more treatment from the author than Obree. Read more
Published 12 months ago by martin knight
3.0 out of 5 stars good pictures, but story not that good or any thing new
perfect for the die hard cyclist who likes they're history - although they'll probably already have tale, so its really a repeat of whats already been written
Published 12 months ago by Lee
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