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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 26 December 2012
Let's be honest - if you're a cycling fan, you will have already had an opinion of Wiggins formed before the events of 2012 unfolded.

In the run up to this year he could be talented, wayward, self deprecating, vaguely self-destructive, passionate, humble, arrogant, and everything else in between. Compared with the other British guys on the scene, he was always a bit of an enigma. He could at times display the passion and eloquence of David Millar, the sheer bloody single mindedness of Mark Cavendish, and - periodically - the humility and affability of Sir Chris Hoy.

Like many, I saw him crash out of the 2011 Tour and thought "Well that's a relief" - his heart didn't seem in it, and Team Sky looked on course to miss their stated goal of winning the premier cycle race within 5 years. Then, early on in the season, things were obviously right at Sky, and more importantly right at the point where it mattered; between Wiggins' ears.

The Tour de France 2012 was, if we're honest, a bit dull - Team Sky just shut the thing down after the first week. But this actually made it more intriguing; it was obviously a team effort, a well oiled machine working at 100%. Perhaps it was also a watershed? The point where the big personalities of old dominated the race through pyramid teams (Merckx, Hainault, Armstrong, etc).

Towards the end of the Tour, it was apparent that Sky could have chosen either Froome or Wiggins to win if they wished.

This is, in essence, what this book is about. Although notionally centred on Wiggins, it really is a narrative of how Team Sky and British Cycling came to dominate 2012 on the road, and on the track. The professionalism, the science, the commitment, and the co-ordination of Brailsford and co really stand out - it is no wonder our cycle stars won so much. Through Wiggins' eyes, we are treated to an insight into this - and mightily jealous I am too. There is no hiding the fact that it didn't always work, but I'd have loved to have had the opportunity to have been part of an organisation such as this.

It also goes a long way in explaining all the praise heaped upon British Cycling by the likes of Hoy, Pendleton, Clancey, Storey, Rowsell, Thomas, Cav, Wiggo, Millar, and so on - it really is world class, and the story of Wiggins in 2012 really captures it. Once you read this book, you'll realise that in reality the BMCs, Rabobanks, OPQS, Katusha, and so on were competing against the combined might of British Cycling. It does beg the question as to how were the European teams so amateurish for so long given the money involved in the sport in the continent?

But really, in my opinion, this is an outstanding appraisal of Dave Brailsford's organisation. Wiggins winning what he did in 2012 is because of Brailsford, without him I think Bradley would still be where he was in 2009; talented, but adrift.

Allez Wiggo!
Chapeau Brailsford!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 26 October 2013
I started reading this after enjoying Tyler Hamilton's book on drugs and Lance Armstrong (The secret race) which was a revealing account of the skullduggery behind the cycling world. Recommended. However this book by Bradley Wiggens is one of the worst I have tried to read in a while. It appears to be ghostwritten but reads like one long sentence of chat taped from an interview. It badly needs editing. Don't bother- I wanted to like this but gave up after the first 50 pages or so!
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43 of 49 people found the following review helpful
on 13 November 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.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 29 December 2012
I've been an armchair cycle fan ever since ITV4 started showing the Tour and watching Wiggins plot his way to winning it this year was a glorious experience.For him to follow up such an effort within days by winning the Olympic time trial showed not only complete athletic mastery but a sense of purpose and discipline rare in any walk of life. I was therefore pleased to receive a copy of "My Time" for Christmas and,although I've read it in relatively quick time,I must say that it has been a disappointment.

If there is one athlete who appears to possess personality and individuality,it is Wiggins. His various responses and utterances during the Tour were witty,honest and brave,from the savage and obscene rant against those who accused him of doping to the "raffle" comment on the victory podium in Paris. His ecstatic hand gesture on receiving yellow for the first time beat any raising of any cup by any footballer that I've seen.Yet in this book he emerges as nothing more than a decent man going about his business single mindedly with little to say about much other than training routines and the admiration he has for those in the team around him and his wife. Nothing wrong with that,of course but surely there is more to him than that.

What he says about doping and his attitude to it is interesting and moving but the most cogent words about it in the text have appeared in other places. The attempts to bring humour in tend to fall flat which is disappointing given Bradley's seemingly ready sense of the absurd.The pen portraits of those around him are often frank in part but tend to end in some variation of "I love him to bits".The attempt to recreate Bradley's own self deprecating,slightly laddish style fails to include the touch of devil that often comes with it.The cheeky,edgy quality that many admire is sadly absent and what remains is dutiful pleasantry.

The passages which deal with racing are informative but fail to capture the heady mixture of politics,strategy and sheer lung-bursting hard work that the actuality consists of.Perhaps the necessarily methodical nature of the training and its now certain outcome in victory for Wiggins and Sky described in the book must inevitably reduce the reader's enjoyment of reading about the playing out of the events.The increasing references to TSS and Vam statistics tend to mitigate one's response to the heroic efforts that they represent,interesting though it is to learn about their use.

In sum,I found it a bit dull,interesting in parts but mainly unimaginative in its approach and predictable in its treatment of what must have been towering moments of emotion in Bradley's life.There's a much better book to be written about these truly magnificent achievements.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on 16 January 2013
Poorly written and repetitive; I guess it is impressive that they got it published in such a short time, but it would have been better to wait and actually concentrate on getting the content up to scratch. There is clearly a good book in there trying to get out. This feels like a bit of a cash-in on a great year for BW.
It leaves lots of questions unanswered - for example, there are hints that BWs relationship with Chris Froome is not great, but this is never really dealt with openly (for obvious reasons, but we have come to expect a bit more clarity from modern 'warts and all' autobiographies).
Ultimately, most decent books take some considerable time to write, so it is hardly surprising that this is no literary masterpiece. However, with such rich subject matter, this just feels like a missed opportunity.
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on 7 June 2014
I gave up on "My Time" about half way through - it's probably the least enjoyable sports book I've ever read. It does a terrific job of turning one of the most exciting sports around into one of the most boring. Either Wiggins really is this dour or he has been seriously let down by his ghost-writer.

I'm a general sports fan whose interest in cycling has grown over the past 3-4 years, and having read some fantastic books by Paul Kimmage, David Millar, Tyler Hamilton, etc. I was looking forward to reading Wiggins' book. I knew little about his personality prior to 2012, but maybe his outstanding success of that year has had an impact on his outlook (maybe, maybe not) in that he now feels he can be easily forgiven for a level of conceit.

What I can say is that not only did I find the contents of this book boring and adrenalin-free, but Wiggins came across as someone who has no feelings or empathy for anyone other than himself - both now and earlier in his career. When his actions impact on someone else adversely, he appears to have no sense of responsibility, nor indeed appears to give a monkeys. Intellectually, this book is on a par with the autobiographies of Robbie Savage and Roy Keane (that isn't a compliment, Roy) both of which exhibit similar levels of ignorance but, at least, are arguably rescued by other dubious qualities.

Anyone who has achieved what Wiggins has in sport or in any walk of life should be applauded for their efforts, and maybe pure cycling fans will gain more from the book than I did. However, call me soft, but I enjoy autobiographies a heck of a lot more when I can warm to the author. On the evidence of this book, I can see exactly why Dave Brailsford has dropped him from Sky's Tour de France line-up this year (2014) - mentally, Wiggins needs to be riding either purely for himself (e.g. for the GC) or not at all.

In summary, I found the contents boring, the (ghosted) writing style clumsy, and Wiggins to be charmless. This is one book that you CAN judge by its cover.
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on 24 November 2013
This is a worthwhile and interesting read for a cycling novice as it provides
good insight as to what motivates Wiggins, balanced with aspects of his life
and personality that help and hinder his success.

I particularly enjoyed reading about his relationship with his biological father,
how his mother's family supported him and how much work and effort was required
at a young age to rise up the ranks. Especially the difficulties new cyclists
experience when working in Europe without family support and little more than
subsistence money. I would think that the life of a young professional cyclist
is gruelling and the chances of glory and wealth fairly slim.

Wiggo's abhorrence of substance abuse is clearly illustrated as well as his
melancholic moodiness. This book was published before landmark events in 2012,
leaving a feeling that that there are critical bits in the book that are missing.
This could disappoint readers. This is one of the problems when biographies are
written before retirement.

Nothing about the book is dramatised or exaggerated for effect. For example his
interest in music, his love of a pint, his family life or even the Olympic
successes. I enjoyed the fact that the book provided a balanced view of his
earlier life which helps the reader to understand Wiggins a little more.

I am unsure if this book would excite and intrigue Wiggo or cycling fans as there
is a strong possibility that little new will be revealed that justifies reading
more than is already visible in the media. Since my interest is merely a casual
one and have little more than a general knowledge of cycling, I was able to benefit.

Overall, the book is a fairly interesting read with a balanced viewpoints, free of
melodrama and hype. As a light read, for an overview of the events in Wiggin's life,
its worthwhile. He comes across as a forthright and fearless person.
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on 25 January 2013
Excellent book, by and about a great cyclist. Bradley comes across as a down to earth humble realist. He does not claim to be Superman but someone who relights on hard work. Who has in his own words had the most specular year of his professional career!! The only down side of this book is much more effective if you read (now) Sir Bradley's first book In Pursuit of Glory, to really get a feel of his personality. This book does read more like a memoir. Great memoirs but not an all in one autobiography.

This book starts off in 2010 when Bradley is at the personal and professional lowest point. Then it goes back a year to 2009 where Bradley places 4th in the Tour de France (I think Lance Armstrong place 3rd that year so Bradley might be moved up), showing his potential. Then getting bogged down with team changes, personal tragedy, coaching disputes, to a complete overhaul of his training method and the mythology of cycling training. The reason this is such a big thing is because despite changes in bikes design and aerodynamic improvements cyclists traditionally have the same training schedules as they did in the 70's, simply because it has always been done that way. He started to see gradual improvements, and better results.

Bradley, talks about his feeling for him team mates who trained and sacrificed part of their own lives with him to help him win the 2012 tour. For a sport of individual results there is an amazing about of team work and sacrifice for the team leader. The only other "sport" to do this pro-wrestling where one wrestler put another "over" (lets him win). Bradley talks about the sacrifice his own family had to make to allow him to follow his dream of cycling. Then he talks about the success and highs he feels. He tries to put into words the adrenalin he felt racing in the London Olympics, as I Brit I can feel the energy coming off the page. It takes me back to jumping off the couch every time team GB won a medal. I really did enjoy this book, but I really wish I had read his first book first.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 13 January 2013
Unless you personally know someone involved, it is hard for the reader to tell how true to life the portrait someone gives of themselves in a memoir is, especially when a ghost-writer is involved.

The picture that Bradley Wiggins paints of himself seems pretty plausible sat alongside his public utterances, and the book's good reception overall suggests that those who know at least someone involved in the story aren't all going round rubbishing it.

That makes the one place where the book really departs from previous public statements all the more interesting: the comments about Chris Froome. Mostly they are gently critical, on the lines of 'he's really talented but he's inexperienced and inconsistent'. The really critical stuff comes with the account of a controversial stage in the Tour de France where the Sky team's plans seemed to break down with Froome and Wiggins not cycling together as a team. Wiggins's account starts off as it he is going to be generous, with many references to confusion and communications problems. But by the end he's being very critical, saying he had no idea of what Froome was up to and he didn't like it - and departing from what he said in public at the time.

The contrast with his accounts of Mark Cavendish are striking. Wiggins and Cavendish have had their fair share of public ups and downs, and the book reflects that - but leaves the reader with a generous picture of Cavendish, placing responsibility for their periods of falling out on them both, and giving us an affectionate account of their joint history.

Overall the book is pretty much about 2012, with earlier events either in cycling or in Wiggins's life only covered is an as much as they are the lead up to his year of miraculous cycling.

It is far from being just a book about the racing on the road. There is a lot about family life and personal stresses outside the races, with the huge pressures that constant training generate. There is not much in the way of cycling jargon, so the non-sporting fan interested in this suddenly high-profile sport in the UK should be able to enjoy the book and learn about the sport.

A fewer reviewers have said they do not like the style. I found the rather workmanlike writing style great; it seems to reflect the way in which Wiggins speaks. He doesn't go for huge verbal flourishes in TV interviews and the book matches that. I think it's the better for that. A shame about some of the repetition and the slightly meandering narrative at times (rushed editing to get the book out quickly perhaps?). Small blemishes, however, that do not take much off the overall book.
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30 of 36 people found the following review helpful
on 24 November 2012
A great, inspirational insight into a true British hero.
So why only 2 stars?
A book that is a pleasure to read is hard to put down. This is a struggle to pick up.
It's been rushed into production for the Christmas market. Lots of repetitions, not only from chapter to chapter but even within the same paragraph.
Poorly written, but then William Fotheringham wrote it so why am I surprised. I've not enjoyed his style of writing in any of his books.
If it gets re-written for the second edition (perhaps by an outstanding writer like Daniel Coyle) then this would be a 5* with no hesitation.
Worth reading because it's Brad's story, but it could have been so much better.
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