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on 16 July 2013
I've really enjoyed this and was thrilled to pay so little for a Kindle copy!

This is an interesting book and I like the way Fotheringham has put together his articles to make a cohesive story of cycling and in particular the rise of British cycling.

My main criticism of the author and most other cycling commentators is that they sat back and did little to challenge the doping culture and yet post armstrong confession feel they have a right to moralise over it all. Thank goodness for the likes of David Walsh!!!
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on 8 July 2013
What a find! As a cycling fan and cyclist since early teenage in the 80s this was perfect in covering the events and characters of my memories whilst still giving a nod to the cycling gods of earlier eras. How the book is structured takes a little getting used to, presented as almost a scrapbook of William's favourite reports / articles however once into the flow it works well, added to by his comments either introducing each of making a point with retrospective knowledge at the end.

From covering the evils of doping to giving an excellent insight into Team Sky and British Cycling this book has been an education, a trip down memory lane and a reminder of how special this sport is - especially as a British cyclist in these golden times.

Definite 5 stars!
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William Fotheringham has always struck me (in the Guardian) as occupying a rather cool position (unenthusiastic even?) with regards to cycling. Reading this book I've had to reformulate that opinion and have grown to love his style. He writes fantastically well, though always maintaining that certain distance from his subject. He prefaces this volume of collected journalistic pieces from over his whole career by explaining that he has always seen the role of the writer to be 'discreet, almost invisible where possible'. And at the same time, he has felt compelled to comment on the articles he has included, especially those which chart the stellar career of Lance Armstrong, even interrupting his former self at one point to explain why he hadn't made more of Armstrong's first infringement, the 'saddle sore' steroid finding of 1999.

I found completely compelling this combination of his desire to step back and observe, with our new-found knowledge of what was 'really' going on. It's particularly enjoyable because Fotheringham switches from including 'local colour' pieces, describing merguez sausage roadside barbecues, etc, to Tour De France diaries of each day's events, to proper large review articles taking overviews of the race as a whole. He captures the flavour of the race, and has a special ear for the telling detail, whether arguments within camps, horrific crashes, transport logistics or salary cuts; he manages to weave all of these in wonderfully.

And this is just the first half of the book! It is however what interested me the most, so I am focusing on it. The second half of the book is devoted to Olympic cycling, which has less interest for me, but those who light up for Hoy, Pendleton, Wiggins (in track mode), Kenny, Queally etc will enjoy it immensely, and there's quite a lot on Dave Brailsford, Sutton etc to satisfy the ardent TDF fan.... Plus there's a final section with a few poignant obituaries, including Fignon, Pantani and the wonderful Beryl Burton, to round the volume off. From now on, i will always be thinking of this author affectionately, as David Millar suggests in his introduction, as 'FOTHERING-HAMMMM!"

PS One correction that definitely needs making by now, though, is on p. 93, when supporters of Rumsas, the cyclist whose wife was stopped with TONS of drugs in her car, demonstrated in the 'Lithuanian capital, Riga'. Ahem.
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on 29 July 2013
A good summary-type read of some of the best articles written by Will Fotheringham on al matters cycling.

The only reason I didn't give the book 5 stars was because, as a Guardian reader for many years, I had read most, if not all of these articles in the newspaper, when they were first published.

Never the less, I recommend this book highly!
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on 3 September 2013
On the back of a series of great cycling books this one is a fascinating chronology of stories surrounding his years reporting on racing
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on 12 September 2013
My title says it all. I have read and enjoyed many cycling books but this one is by far one of the most comprehensive. The author's knowledge of the sport is second to none. The pace is excellent and keeps you interested. This would be an excellent book for someone new to cycling as it explains all the key players. Having said that, it is also must read for any serious cyclist.
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on 28 March 2014
A good read if you like cycling. Lots of short stories from the author which makes it nice and easy to read. His experience as a cycling journo show through in his broad knowledge of the pro cycling scene and all that goes with it. I would heartily recommend it.
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on 4 August 2013
Although i have vaguely followed the tour de France for a while, this book was a great "quick" overview of the History or recent history of the tour and some very interesting articles to follow up on.

Highly recommend
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on 30 May 2014
Been following cycling for many years and it was great to read this, bring back some memories as well as see some clues as to what might be going on in the background, both with Armstrong and British Cycling, for example.
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on 2 April 2014
Can't go wrong with Fotheringham and this is no exception. Perhaps a fresh edition should be released considering the latest, I would probably buy it again as the book would be rounded off nicely.
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