8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Limited Piece of Work,
This review is from: Sex, Lies and Handlebar Tape: The Remarkable Life of Jacques Anquetil, the First Five-Times Winner of the Tour de France (Hardcover)
I finished reading Put Me Back on My Bike, the story of Tommy Simpson and was captivated by the cycling world. Fresh from a number of other Tour De France books entwined with chronicles on doping, I was excited by the prospect of this Sex, Lies and Handlebars - particularly as one of the quotes on the back suggested Paul Howard had not got rapped up in the tabloid world of Jacques Anquetil.
Not sure I agree with that.
The book never really goes deep enough into cycling or the world of Anquetil, who made his name first and foremost as a cyclist. It seems to lack substance when referring to his career as a cyclist (less than 2pages dedicated to his first tour de France win), it neatly side steps issues related to drugs and avoids difficult opinions. The most detail comes from interviews with Anquetil's family - so yes, it does get tabloidy.
As a consequence of the lack of substance, it reads like a simple narration of already well documented events and misses any insight.
I don't feel like this book has given me anything more than a complete history of the Tour De France would have done, which would only have a chapter to dedicate to Anquetils era.
Its a real shame, Anquetil was one of the first legends of the sport - fuelled by drugs in a peloton coming to terms with the death of Simpson. It could have been so much more. It should have been.