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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Recommended.
I found this book to be well written and very interesting. It is, for the most part, chronological; starting with a little girl kicking a football around in Wick and finishing with the 2012 Olympic Road Race. Personally, I found the early sections (childhood, juniors and early life as a professional) as the most intriguing but, considering the material, that’s...
Published 5 months ago by Ulrich

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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars She loves a good moan!
I bought this book as Nicole is from Wick, a village near where I live.
She is also something of a local hero in these parts.
I am not a cycling fan and don't own a bike.
The book is well written however after a while I got fed up with her constant whinging.
She has a major problem with men's cycling and her view that it is prioritised more than...
Published 10 days ago by On your bike


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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Recommended., 3 Aug. 2014
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This review is from: The Breakaway (Hardcover)
I found this book to be well written and very interesting. It is, for the most part, chronological; starting with a little girl kicking a football around in Wick and finishing with the 2012 Olympic Road Race. Personally, I found the early sections (childhood, juniors and early life as a professional) as the most intriguing but, considering the material, that’s hardly a surprise. The book itself is not overly technical, although there are brief mentions of training and plenty of “play by play” descriptions of races which were very interesting for this ignorant reader.

Cooke gives plenty of praise to those that, she believes, deserves it. She also clobbers the people and topics that deserve it. Plenty of people come out of the book appearing incompetent, bordering on malevolent. Others (often those that left the sport early) are often given sympathy. The people that helped her (coaches, surgeons, riders, training partners…) are repeatedly named and thanked in the text. There are also moments when Cooke admits to having been wrong (mainly with overtraining, but occasionally with conversations).

It is not an unbiased reflection of women’s cycling; that would honestly be boring. It is a passionate book that tries to back up opinions and leaves nothing left. That does mean that I view some of the points a little suspiciously (I look forward to reading something from one of her team mates), but even a small number of truths in it would raise a lot of interesting points and harm people’s reputations. At the very worst it allowed me to temper my view of British Cycling and “Marginal Gains”.

Whatever happens, I was very happy with this book and would recommend it for anyone who follows cycling, or simply likes a good old “overcome the odds” story.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent account from one of the best bike racers ever, 20 Aug. 2014
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This review is from: The Breakaway (Kindle Edition)
An excellent read.

In pure cycling analysis terms this is by far the best book I've read thus far on race tactics. I think it goes to show how far ahead of her competition Cooke was, especially when you look at the clarity and speed of thought that she put into her performances. This book puts many others to shame in that respect.

Before reading this book I had no idea how good or accomplished Cooke was, and it's quite shameful that she received such little media attention in the UK for her achievements. The book also presents a quite shocking indictment of British Cycling and some of the big-name staff there, which might lead you to question the achievements of their proteges (and what might have been). It also shames the coverage of women's road racing, and the effect of doping in both men's & women's cycle sports.

You can't miss her tenacious spirit or personality in this book either.

So well worth your time and money IMHO.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Cycling Book Ever ....., 10 Sept. 2014
By 
Ian Franklin "Justme" (Chiang Mai, Thailand) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: The Breakaway (Hardcover)
.............absolutely the best by a country mile. She makes me feel a bit ashamed because having been in the sport all my life, I had/have many contacts. The word on the block was "she's trouble". I was one of the main sponsors for the first British championship that she won. She was still a Junior. I was sponsoring a good British rider and part of the race at the time. There was great joy in her win but I heard the moans and complaints from other competitors. Over the years I followed her career. I was always aware of Armstrong's cheating and I heard many rumours about la dopage amongst other riders. But although people complained about "troublesome" Cooke, there was also an understanding that this girl was talented and didn't have to resort to cheating. Pre-Brad and pre-Mark she was the best rider of the current era. I'll tell you why I feel ashamed. I used to be in a position to help some riders and I wish now, knowing her story, that I had backed her rather than the two female riders who I helped financially and in other ways. The first of these didn't thank me: she took the money and cycled off into the wilderness. The other one remained a friend when she needed something and someone I helped over a few years. But again she used the people around her without giving anything back and even now cannot answer emails when she is in a position to help some poor kids where I coach in Thailand. Nicole is not like that. She is honest, straightforward, grateful for the help, realistic and driven. She struggled hard against the powers within British Cycling and names some of these people who, quite frankly, behaved like idiots. The rider whom I sponsored seems to behave in the same way when she should be aware of how difficult it is to move on in this sport. Nicole could teach many of these people a hard lesson. Indeed, I believe she should be heading up the women's section of the UCI and British cycling. She knows the score. Nicole: If you read this apologies for backing others and not you and thanks for writing the best cycling book in my collection of more than 500 such books. Good luck for your future,
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A highly readable account from one of Britain's top cyclists ever, 25 Aug. 2014
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This review is from: The Breakaway (Kindle Edition)
Nicole Cooke was a star performer, and a delight to follow on the few races that were televised. This book is her story of determination and skill that led her to be one of the greatest cyclists that the UK has produced. It's sad that the gender divide is so great in terms of support, remuneration, sponsorship and acclaim. Nicole's self belief shines through this book - the characteristics that led her to so many great wins - but possibly also, to the lack of official support from British Cycling that she refers to frequently. They do not come out well from this. I look forward to some responses, if they come.

A most enjoyable book, which is exceptionally good on the ins and outs of race tactics.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nicole sounds pretty feisty, and I wonder how she is perceived ..., 13 Aug. 2014
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This review is from: The Breakaway (Kindle Edition)
Fascinating read. Nicole sounds pretty feisty, and I wonder how she is perceived by others, but her passion, guts and dedication to winning in her sport is inspirational! She writes well, too.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book. Nicole gave her fans a great deal ..., 11 Aug. 2014
This review is from: The Breakaway (Hardcover)
Excellent book. Nicole gave her fans a great deal of entertainment and was always a joy to watch.- I knew she had struggled to get support, I had no idea until I read this, just how badly she was treated by the British cycling establishment, nor indeed just how much she has achieved, by far the most accomplished cyclist from the UK way overshadowing the achievements of the better known men. A Well written and brutally honest reflection on life inside the peloton - and the havoc caused by the drug cheats on honest hard working cyclists. Anyone who had respect for the much lauded power brokers of British cycling will rapidly lose it reading this.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The girl 2 doors down, 25 Sept. 2014
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This review is from: The Breakaway (Kindle Edition)
Having witnessed Nicole grow up in the village and seeing the dedicated 'hard miles' she put in as a youngster through to this very day is inspirational and a fine example to all youngsters wanting to achieve success in their chosen sport.
Reading her own account has raised many emotions; pride in her achievements, admiration in her determination, disappointment in her lack of support by her governing bodies within cycling, anger with the individuals who placed barriers in her way and pride in a young girl who stuck too her beliefs took on the establishment and proved them wrong with countless unsupported solo wins and unselfish support for others in the sport. Mostly I am ashamed of BC for their sexist male attitude against the women in their sport.
A compelling read from a quiet determined girl with outstanding support from her family and all those close to her who she made believe in her and wanted to believe in her.
Well done Nicole you have made Wick, Wales and Great Britain very proud.
All in all an honest and courageous account from inside the world of cycling which made compelling reading and I don't even like cycling!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best cycling autobiography you are likely to read, 28 Aug. 2014
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This review is from: The Breakaway (Hardcover)
The best cycling autobiography you are likely to read. I found it both exhilarating (the race tactics are the best documented and most intelligent you are likely to find), and depressing (if she had been given the same support as male professionals one can only speculate on what she may have achieved). Nicole's achievements really are a testament of determination over adversity and prejudice. This book deserves recognition as a great sporting biography and an indictment on the prevalence for male sporting achievements over female achievements.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Required reading for young athletes, parents, and sport organizers, 27 Oct. 2014
This review is from: The Breakaway (Hardcover)
The story of Nichole Cooke, arguably the greatest cyclist of her generation, winner of multiple world titles despite the wholesale conspiracy and/or incompetence of the British Cycling authorities, is equally inspiring and exasperating. I was most impressed by how her parents were able to foster Nicole's development without creating either a hyper-competitive environment or forcing her to specialize on one sport. I used to both teach and coach (not cycling) and have seen too many children so focused on winning - or more accurately, not losing - that few derive any pleasure from participating, and most end up quitting sports entirely. Given the absurd barriers Nicole faced beginning when she was still an adolescent, I think her ability to persevere largely reflects the extraordinary emotional base that her parents, uncle, and other adults outside of the cycling bureaucracy helped her to develop. A child on a highly regimented training program who never rode simply for fun would never have lasted.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Champion despite the 'system'., 17 Dec. 2014
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This review is from: The Breakaway (Hardcover)
Excellent book, telling Nicole's story and the trials and tribulations of trying to work with British Cycling. My own experiences confirm that she is not exaggerating at all. A sad tale in many respects, she names some names, mostly don't come off to well including many still in control of British Cycling, one wonders if it has really changed for the better, have they learnt how to deal with champion athletes who know best how to prepare themselves.

As a book it is brilliant, the story from the start of Nicole's career to its culmination in Olympic Gold and a World Championship in a single year. Nicole is the UK's most successful road racer, examine her record and its obvious. Well written, always interesting, a faithful record of Nicole's amazing journey. I definitely recommend the book for anyone with an interest in what it takes to be a real champion.
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The Breakaway
The Breakaway by Nicole Cooke (Hardcover - 31 July 2014)
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