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14 Reviews
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This was well worth it
Really enjoyed this. Better than most cyclists’ autobiographies I've read (and that's a lot). The snippets about Stuart by family, colleagues and rivals were a novel and interesting change in an autobiography. Well worth the money and a very good read!
Published 10 months ago by JB

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Mt Ventoux isn't as much of an uphill struggle as finishing this book!
Guys, let me précis this book.......O'Grady spends a lot of pages telling us he is an Aussie hard man, a top bloke who'd give his life for his mates, has ridden hundreds of thousands of kilometres and loves a beer when he's not racing. It is interspersed with anecdotes from his mates who say he's an Aussie hard man, a top bloke who'd give his life for them ( his...
Published 6 months ago by Hobbes


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This was well worth it, 17 Mar. 2014
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This review is from: Battle Scars (Kindle Edition)
Really enjoyed this. Better than most cyclists’ autobiographies I've read (and that's a lot). The snippets about Stuart by family, colleagues and rivals were a novel and interesting change in an autobiography. Well worth the money and a very good read!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Mt Ventoux isn't as much of an uphill struggle as finishing this book!, 10 July 2014
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This review is from: Battle Scars (Kindle Edition)
Guys, let me précis this book.......O'Grady spends a lot of pages telling us he is an Aussie hard man, a top bloke who'd give his life for his mates, has ridden hundreds of thousands of kilometres and loves a beer when he's not racing. It is interspersed with anecdotes from his mates who say he's an Aussie hard man, a top bloke who'd give his life for them ( his mates ), has ridden hundreds of thousands of kilometres and loves a beer when he's not training! I don't wish to belittle 'Stuey's' cycling career........it is phenomenal, but this book is the dullest cycling tome ever penned. Save yourselves some time, read this review ( you've done that already ) and look on wiki to see his amazing career results and spend the time you saved out on your bike!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Autobiography of a real hard man, 26 April 2014
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This review is from: Battle Scars (Kindle Edition)
I remember watching Stuart O'Grady being interviewed when he won his first TdF stage in 1998, and I remember his Paris-Roubaix victory in 2007, but best of all I think was the amazing TTT in the rain in the 2001 Tour that Credit Agricole won against all the odds to keep Stuey in yellow. He was always one of the toughest competitors in the peloton and I was always a bit of a fan. Having finally retired at the age of 40 under a bit of a cloud to do with some EPO use in the '98 TdF O'Grady has written this autobiography. It's an easy read, mostly written in stoccato sentences with few adjectives (maybe to give that "I'm just a straightforward Aussie bloke so no sentences over six words" feeling?) with good sections on the Paris-Roubaix win and O'Grady's gold in the Madison at the 2004 Olympics and a slew of interesting insights into the inside World of pro-cycling. As examples of the latter, O'Grady describes how Andy Schleck's amazing escape and win on the Col d'Galibier in the 2011 Tour was planned several days in advance, and details how as 'road captain' for CSC and Leopard Trek he would make decisions on the fly based on race conditions, wind and how the other riders were looking.

Other sections seem a little thin: I would have liked more detail on how the young O'Grady trained, got onto the Aussie track programme and got silver in the team pursuit at the '92 Olympics, for example (the book mostly says 'We lost in the final to the Germans, I was gutted mate'), and the last year with Orica Greenedge is skimmed over. I think the latter is because the book is winding up towards confronting the huge doping elephant that was in the room the whole time: O'Grady competed during cycling's darkest era when the Armstrong EPO machine was rolling, the UCI was turning a blind eye to what was going on and most of the peloton was jacked up to the eyeballs. To his credit, O'Grady is clear and (hopefully) honest about his one and only flirtation with EPO in 1998, which is bad in itself but when compared to the industrial scale doping that was going on in other teams seems to be small beer, and he is clear about it being the main reason for his sudden retirement in 2013, but what he doesn't address is how much he knew about other riders. It's implied that O'Grady was genuiinely ignorant of the drug use going on around him, and he talks about his surprise when Millar was busted and when Armstrong confessed - can this be true? I think most people agree that Roger Legeay's teams have been mostly clean, but O'Grady also rode for CSC, directed by known doper Bjarne Riis about whom serious accusations have been made by Tyler Hamilton (who might not be the most reliable source, admittedly, and was also off the team before O'Grady joined, I think), so it's hard to put much credibility into the section about this period in his career which has not a mention of anything to do with illegal performance enhancers. Just something to say "Fair dinkum mate, I know that these accusations have been made but I never saw anything" would be better than ignoring it altogether. That said, I can see why O'Grady might not want his autobiog to be swamped with doping stories and speculation, especially if he did ride clean ever since '98.

All in all then, a good read and Stuey comes across as someone you'd love to have a few beers with over a barbie. Still not the full-on story of what was going on in pro cycling in the late nineties and early noughties but I'm prepared to give it the benefit of the doubt and just enjoy the saga of one of cycling's real hard men and true characters. Enjoy your retirement mate.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring, 20 April 2014
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J. Handley - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Battle Scars (Kindle Edition)
Of all the cycling biographies I have read this is the most gritty, honest but human. You finish having ultimate respect for a unique athlete as well as sympathy for his minor failings as a human. Just read it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant Book from a big O'Grady fan, 20 July 2014
I've loved & followed Stuart O'Grady for a very long time & even too Australia. Was shocked/gutted re EPO as not Stuart, that i had to get book and read for myself. Book is brilliantly written, even a non cyclist fan would truly get, so enjoyed, very funny in alot of parts, so true and real, you feel your right there with Stuart on his journey. As i was at some of those big races, Tour de france, Commonwealth Games etc standing 10 feet from him getting presented with his gold medal and having followed him for years knowing and seeing those accident's. Cycling is a very hard selfish sport if you want to be the best and being involved with cycling all my life I know the pressures put on young cyclist's and the book explains this very well. I still love Stuart O'Grady, too bits and probably more now. I truly am proud and admire him for standing up confessing and being honest, plus he has let everyone have an insight into his whole personal life as a professional cyclist and the sacrifices he's had to make re his Wife, kids & family. Stuart truly is a great guy, has done alot for cycling and cyclists. I hope, pray and i know Stuart O'Grady will be back to the sport as he has alot to offer, the sport. This Book has not changed my opinion of Stuart O'Grady, still the guy I always knew he was, i just admire him more.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a humble account of one of pro cycling's greats, 11 April 2014
This review is from: Battle Scars (Kindle Edition)
By far one of the best pro cycling stories out there. a humble account of a great career told by the man himself and the people around him. A real must have for sports fans.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great cycling book in the company of one of cycling's toughest riders., 17 July 2014
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This review is from: Battle Scars (Kindle Edition)
Well I've got to say I was very impressed by this book. Stuart is a very tough rider.

What was enjoyable really was where stuart had come from, how he progressed and became the rider he did. In the end I felt that I had got to know him and he was a likeable and genuine character.

He gave an honest account of his time cycling and this gave you a good impression of what it was like.
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5.0 out of 5 stars inspirational....one of the best sporting autobiographies I have read, 23 Jun. 2014
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5 star book from a 5 star cyclist. Brave and honest from a guy you'd buy a couple beers for
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3.0 out of 5 stars Cycling, 22 July 2014
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A good on-site into the world of cycling and the pressures of the era.
Although I do not Condon cheating
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 20 Dec. 2014
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as expected great
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