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A. Rowe (Cheshire/Manchester)

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The Secret Race: Inside the Hidden World of the Tour de France: Doping, Cover-ups, and Winning at All Costs
The Secret Race: Inside the Hidden World of the Tour de France: Doping, Cover-ups, and Winning at All Costs
by Daniel Coyle
Edition: Hardcover

5.0 out of 5 stars Secrets Revealed, 7 Jan 2013
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I read The Secret Race on the back of Racing Through the Dark, and Seven Deadly Sins (David Walsh's collected account of chasing down Lance Armstrong), which each offer a very different style of insight into the Peloton and Doping culture.
I was most impressed by The Secret Race as it is very direct, concise, and believable. This surprised me, given all the sensationalist coverage Hamilton had received around the time of the publication date, resulting in me initially approaching The Secret Race with concerns about Hamilton's credibility.
The Secret Race has a very American outlook, and I found that to be a very refreshing contrast to European rider's accounts of the Armstrong years. You can really see how the U.S. Postal team came into the tour, were forced to learn quickly in such a structured and brutal environment, and ultimately how they were able to exploit the race to their maximum benefit.
Hamilton comes across as a very straightforward person (and quite a sad and damaged person, at that). Combined with the recent USADA doping investigation, I would have to say that I can find no reason to doubt the validity of this account.

Bradley Wiggins: My Time: An Autobiography
Bradley Wiggins: My Time: An Autobiography
by William Fotheringham
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £16.00

42 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Sporting Insight, 13 Nov 2012
I really enjoyed this book, and would recommend it to fans of cycling, and to readers who would like to know more about the psychological issues that can affect elite athletes.
I believe Bradley recounted his experiences to William Fotheringham (who `ghosted' the book), and a very personable and understandable character comes to light. That's not to say that Bradley comes across as a deity, as he certainly has his struggles. However he is very honest about what drives him, what his weaknesses are, and this makes his story all the more engaging.
My Time is a flowing read, and the observations and insights really allow the (sometimes) technical world of cycling to become much easier to grasp and understand.
Personally, I particularly enjoyed the anecdotes about the first year of Team Sky, and the frankness with which Bradley admitted he often struggled with the pressure of suddenly being a `Leader', and how he coped (or didn't) with what this entailed.
The book plots a great passage from those dark days of self-doubt to the exultation of Bradley's entrance to the Champs Elysees. Throughout the book, the scale of the dedication, hard graft, and ultimate achievement of winning the Tour really hits home, and this book is an excellent souvenir for those who lived and breathed every KM of this year's Tour.

Angel-a  [2005] [Blu-ray]
Angel-a [2005] [Blu-ray]
Dvd ~ Jamel Debbouze
Price: £8.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It's a Wonderful life, a modern take..., 31 Dec 2010
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This review is from: Angel-a [2005] [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
Despite being a fan of Besson's earlier work, I had a lot of apprehension about purchasing this title given some of the producing credits besson has gathered in last decade.
However I am glad that I did, as Angel-A displays all of the inventiveness and enjoyability of his late 80's/90's output, with a new found humour and cinematic zeal. I won't say too much about the plot of film, other than to mention that I found it to be an enjoyable and modern alternative to fare such as it's a wonderful life, with excellent performances from the lead actors in particular.
Whilst the scripting of the film is arguably somewhat predictable, the film should appeal to due to its knowing dark humour, and its pacey brevity.
In relation to the Blu Ray, I believe optimum have put this out on a single sided BD25 disc. The Monochrome photography is displayed well, with crisp blacks and no apparent artefact issues, however the image did not have much 'pop' for a recent release, and I think it could have flourished with the extra storage of a double sided disc despite it's short running length (as always besson has a very dynamic camera, and there are some stand out shots of some very well known Paris locales).

The extras on the disc add little to the overall package, but do shed some light on the production process; although given the gap since Besson's previous films it would have been nice to have something more director specific.
Overall this is an enjoyable film, presented well on Blu Ray disc


12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A worthwile purchase., 5 Sep 2003
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This review is from: Singles (Audio CD)
This is a nice tidy Collection of Nirvana's most commercial singles.
They are worth buying for kurt's Artwork alone, some excellent pieces are included in the package.
The tunes themselves are nothing superior to the album versions, and the live stuff is readily available elsewhere.
Worth a look if you are a completist, and worth it given the price.

Blonde on Blonde
Blonde on Blonde
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £5.47

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sublime, 23 Aug 2003
This review is from: Blonde on Blonde (Audio CD)
'That thin, wild mercury sound' is the best description for this album.
Very pure and bonded, the Nashville session men round Bob's perfected Electric sound off nicely.
In My opinion, which is of no importance at all, It is Dylan's Purest Expression.
The phrasing and poetry is unreal, surreal, at times it is amusing.
I won't point out which tracks are laced with this black humour as the beauty of Dylan is that his lyrics are totally open to interpretation.
A truly inspirational album from a true artist.

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