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Rough Ride [Paperback]

Paul Kimmage
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (92 customer reviews)

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Book Description

3 May 2001
Second revised edition of the Irish rider's frank insight into the world of professional cycling, addressing the issue of drugs in sport. Kimmage rode in the Tour de France three times, before leaving the sport and becoming a journalist. Originally published by Stanley Paul. Winner of the William Hill Sports Book of the Year, 1990.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Yellow Jersey Press; 2nd Revised edition edition (3 May 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0224061704
  • ISBN-13: 978-0224061704
  • Product Dimensions: 19.4 x 12.8 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (92 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 44,514 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"Sent shockwaves through the peloton" (Daniel Friebe Outdoor Fitness)

"A devastatingly frank description of life on the professional road cycling circuit, hurtful in its telling of unwelcome truths yet powerful in its capture of what it takes, legally and illegally, to compete" (Mary Perryman Huffington Post UK)

"In the wake of the Armstrong affair, you can't move for books about doping, but Kimmage, and ex-pro rider himself, was the first to 'spit in the soup' back in the 1990s... A must read for any cyclist" (Cyclist) --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Book Description

Updated edition of one of the classics of cycling and sports literature with a new introduction and new chapters - published to coincide with the 2007 Tour de France coming to London --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding 2 Jun 2005
Format:Paperback
Many sports books are written to celebrate the glory of winning and achievement. Kimmages book is different because it is an honest account of an also-ran, a dreamer, a slogger. Paul never enjoyed the trappings of success, never earned anything more than a pithy wage and experienced in rare measure the dream of winning.
Against all this, Paul is forced to deal with the ever-present tumour of doping in cycling. As he struggles to accept his physical limitations as a human cyclist, he finds himself having also to compete against the drugs that fuel those around him to success. Eventually he leaves the sport, disillusioned, bitter but with his head held high.
The honesty, frankness and innocence of the book makes it compelling stuff, and I think it should appeal to anyone, not just those interested in cycling or sport. The 1998 drugs scandal, which happened several years after this book was published, sadly verifies much of what Kimmage describes.
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54 of 57 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars True account of life as a pro cyclist 26 April 2002
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I think Paul Kimmage's book is outstanding. The newer edition adds details of the events following the book's first publication (about 12 years ago) into context and how it affected not only the sport of cycling but Kimmage's relationships with one-time pro colleagues (such as Stephen Roche) and the pro cycling 'brotherhood' generally. It is especially sad that the book led to him being an outcast yet in 1998 when half the peloton in the Tour de France were found to be doping, it was treated as a huge shock - yet Kimmage and others had tried before to reveal the truth. This book is a superb contrast to books by authors such as Graeme Fife, whose dewey eyed reviews of glorious champions and direct criticism of Kimmage's book are really put in their place. Read this book if you really want to find out about cycling.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply the best book on the topic 9 Dec 2008
By turkle
Format:Paperback
I know that some have complained about Kimmage's bitterness, but that's what makes this book so good - it's for real, he doesn't shy away from examining himself, his own failures and his own role in what went on.
That he felt wretched being a part of the politics and cheating is part and parcel of an aspect of cycling that few people knew about until recently. Kimmage's high-profile spat with Stephen Roche was a precursor to Greg LeMond v Armstrong - for similar reasons.
This book was a genuine ground-breaker - Kimmage really put his neck on the line and had to face the predictable fallout for what he wrote. A far cry from the disingenuous "apologies" and press conference conversions we've seen from the likes of Bjarne Riis.
The original and still the best. Unfortunately, it's still all-too relevant.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping from beginning to end. 12 Aug 2006
Format:Paperback
Having just read Matt Rendell's Death of Marco Pantani and Willy Voet's Breaking the Chain, this is the book which puts everything into perspective.The gritty reality of the world of the domestique as portrayed through Paul's experiences offers the reader great insight into this lifestyle and is written in such a manner that you just can't put the book down.

Thoroughy recommended reading for anybody interested in cycling.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Trials and tribulations of a pro cyclist 20 Oct 2003
Format:Paperback
This book is about how Kimmage develops and nurtures his boyhood dream – to become a successful and respected professional cyclist – and how this dream is gradually undermined and eventually smashed by the corrupt nature of the sport he so dearly loves. A central theme is how his high moral principles with regard to drug taking are gradually eroded away as he himself struggles to stay in touch with the gruelling demands of tour cycling. His account of drug abuse in the sport is truly shocking. But the book is far more than an exposé of drugs in sport. It’s an adventure that provides a real inside view of the hectic and difficult life that a pro-cyclist has to endure, in most cases for relatively meagre reward. Nothing like the boyhood dream. It’s about the trials and tribulations, the joy, frustration, anguish, pain, and many other emotions Kimmage goes through during his cycling career. The writing is absolutely superb – read the book and you’ll feel the emotion for yourself. Can’t recommend it more highly.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Passionate writing...a dream gone sour 1 May 2005
Format:Paperback
In short this book is about a dream. A dream to become a pro cyclist and compete in the Tour de France and how that dream is soured by the harsh reality of professional cycling and the illegal substances inherent in the sport.
Its written with passion and honesty and the sections dealing with the tour de France are breathlessly exciting.
Easily the best sports book I've ever read.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cheating or surviving? 24 Mar 2004
Format:Paperback
Over the last few years the sport of cycling has been badly tarnished by the use of drugs, and some believe that every professional cyclist cheats using them, even if they've been tested negative by the officials.
This book is a real eye-opener into the whole issue, it openly describes what goes on within the peloton, "charging up" before races. However, one huge important fact comes through. They're not taking drugs to cheat, not to win the race. They're taking drugs to get them to the finish line, even if it's in last place, to be able to start again the next day, to avoid the humiliation of abandoning.
If you have an interest in any sport,or you have any opinion of drugs use in sport, I highly recommend you read this book.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars wanted to fill the gap on the shelf and like the recent
Bought it back in 1998, lent it to somebody, wanted to fill the gap on the shelf and like the recent addendum
Published 11 days ago by O R BEAUJON
5.0 out of 5 stars fantastic book by a brave journalist -real insight into the ...
fantastic book by a brave journalist -real insight into the life of a pro cyclist -does not seem to be much fun involved-think i will stick to rugby!
Published 20 days ago by steve hill
2.0 out of 5 stars I must say I was disappointed with this book after so much I'd heard...
I must say I was disappointed with this book after so much I'd heard about it. Nowhere near as good as 'Racing through the Dark' by David Millar or 'Hunger' by Sean Kelly. Read more
Published 23 days ago by Acee
4.0 out of 5 stars Great read for a cycling enthusiast
I really enjoyed the book. Gritty and realistic, fascinating insight into the world of pro cycling. Life as a 'domestique' is not glamourous nor well paid. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars beautifully written, but ultimately sad
Either it must be a drugs free for all or a complete ban, and both are impossible.
If the former, money will determine that some have more, newer, better than others. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Leo Roche
4.0 out of 5 stars Well written and perhaps the best insight into the doping of the 80's...
A well written book that captures the suffering and daily battles experienced by professional cyclists. Read more
Published 3 months ago by John A. Mitchell
5.0 out of 5 stars Down and dirty cycling
Excellent view of the experience of pro cycling in the 80's. Read it if you love to ride a bike
Published 4 months ago by C. Duffin
5.0 out of 5 stars Brutally honest hard hitting book
Excellently written, it's no surprise Paul Kimmage has went on to become a leading journalist. Brutally honest with no punches pulled, a fascinating glimpse into the drug fuelled... Read more
Published 4 months ago by JOHN BLACKBURN
4.0 out of 5 stars very good book
This book was a good read,( the kindle edition isn't the updated version), it was still a real insight into pro cycling at that time.
Published 4 months ago by John Baxter
5.0 out of 5 stars A really honest account
Brilliant book, so honest. At times you really felt for Paul. It's a real insight into what it's really like to be a professional cyclist struggling on the tour. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Amazon Customer
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