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on 15 April 2013
This is a great autobiography, open and honest. I enjoyed the book a lot more because of Victoria's honesty. I enjoyed this book a lot more than I thought I would. I have read a lot of autobiographies from the male cyclists and have to say aside form a couple of mentions I did not know a great deal about Victoria Pendleton (VP). So I can see and understand how she can feel slightly undervalued despite her great and many accomplishments. The thing that separates this book is that it is VP's whole career and more importantly life to this point. This allow VP to spotlight some problems other athletes could be facing today, and let them know they are not alone and can get help.

The books starts at the Beijing Olympics 2008 and VP getting ready for her for the Olympic final. She mentions the people are around her and the mental preparation she need to ride and win at the elite level. From here on I was hooked into this book. The book then goes back and follows a more chronological order with VP being the little girl riding after her dad up the hill, trying to keep pace with him. She credits these rides as the foundation for all her future success.

The book is very emotional, (which I prefer to an author just throwing facts at me), and allows a reader to be part of VP journey, and understand how she is feeling in the moment. It does not just cover the gruelling physical training needed to become an athlete, the mental aspects, the sacrifices, the rewards and the emotions toils and highs. Probably as this book is written after VP's career has ended she is able to talk about issues and people she might now have been able to speak about if she was still competing.

Bradley Wiggins (BW) said writing his first book In Pursuit of Glory: The Autobiography was very therapeutic for him as it allowed to him to put some ghosts to rest and getting his thought on paper allowed him to reflect on aspects of his career. I certainly hope this book allow VP to do the same. There were many emotional low for her. Probably because of her honest and open writing I was drawn even deeper into the book and was really rooting for her to break out of them. As she puts when problem like these arise it is not a simple matter of saying I have a job to do I am going to get on with it. They need to be worked through and in some case harnessed for fuel or motivation. I would like to say being emotional does not mean VP is in any way whinny FAR FROM IT!!!! She is a tough fighter of a girl who is not shy about the issues she faced, but used them to become the athlete/person she is now. She gives full credit to all the people who helped her in anyway. I don't think she is overly critical on people who treated her a bit rough. She even acknowledges the help these people had given her in the past.

VP like BW did also find herself the focal point about certain issues in the sport. In BW's case his anti-doping views, and in VP's the discrepancy between the number of event for women and man. BW did also mention this in his second book Bradley Wiggins: My Time: An Autobiography.

Sometimes I get annoyed when top athletes and over the top personalities say how shy and insecure they are then in the next minute are back in "character". This does not happen in this book. VP's writing makes me feel that she is someone quite insecure who found the mental aspects of elite cycling harder than the physical aspect and her journey, (trials and tribulations), of overcoming this. This is a great book by a great athlete, the only thing missing I think from this book that was in other athletes book is there is no glossary/summary of achievement or results at the end of the book, the racing passages of this book are so gripping it make me feel like I was there watching. Great book buy it you will not regret it.
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on 4 December 2012
It all looks very romantic to see a smiling female picking up gold medals but life behind the scenes is not a bundle of laughs in a male dominated sport. It is very interesting to read about the downside of some of the relationships. The most upsetting was the treatment of her and her coach when their relationship was brought into the open, especially by some high level officials. I was very inerested, and pleased, to see that she made no reference to these smug characters in the closing acknowledgments in the book. Now a high profile character- pity she can't dance.
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on 5 May 2015
this was ok
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on 8 April 2017
Excellent
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on 5 July 2014
Item as expected - a good read
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on 15 September 2012
I have been following Victoria's journey since her World Championship win in 2005. I have been awaiting this book with much anticipation to see the journey from the inside. I don't review books normally, but I found this an engaging personal story that I would whole-heartedly recommend.

It offers a close up and personal insight of the personalities behind the scenes both at British Cycling and in her personal relationships. Chapter 3 `Lost in the mountains' is aptly titled, and for me was the turning point that spearheaded her career forward as a world-class athlete.

An essential companion to this book is Dr Steve Peters: The Chimp Paradox. It offers an understanding of the psychological support that helped her manage this emotional roller coaster.
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on 25 October 2016
This is a well written and incredibly honest account of Victoria Pendleton's sporting career from her childhood attempts to keep up with her dad when they went cycling on a Sunday to her retirement from competition following her success at the 2012 Olympics. The narrative can be a little repetitive at times, since, not surprisingly, it includes descriptions of her races. Some reviewers have found that this emphasis on individual races detracts from the biography as a whole and would have liked to have found out more about the person; personally, I felt that the approach helped to show the sheer level of dedication and hard work which she devoted to her sport. It is clear that she had to sacrifice many elements of "normal life" and that training, racing and the relationships between her and her fellow track cyclists, coaches and other members of the support team were of paramount importance to her. Her honesty about her periods of self-doubt and her reactions to being a woman in what was a male dominated sport are truly admirable. Well worth a read if you are interested in either Victoria herself or the sport.
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on 4 November 2016
This book was really inspiring because she explains how she felt and tells you every single details you need to know. I would recommend this to others as it is very inspiring and has inspired me to go out on my bike a bit more.
But, I think that she could have made it a bit more understandable for younger readers because the vocabulary was a bit tricky.
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on 9 January 2016
What a gal...a true cycling heroe. The abuse and chronic sexism she had to overcome makes her achievements all the more astounding. Inspirational.
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TOP 100 REVIEWERon 12 October 2012
Victoria Pendleton has opened her heart. What she has achieved is remarkable considering the motivational and psychological turmoil she has been through. The front cover picture is one of determination and don't mess with me. Victoria has been given physical attributes. Attractive, intelligent, yes, but they don't make an Olympic or world Champion, nor do they make up to a personality who can overcome the lack of self-confidence and self-belief that goes back to her childhood. Her career is explained with different coaches and her frowned-on relationship with Scott Gardener. The snide asides regarding this appear to have driven Victoria to despair. The sacrifices and self-punishment she has endured in pursuit of winning shine through. Her reflections of 'why and what for' are overtaken by her striving to be top of her profession. Victoria's descriptions of her emotions at reaching her goals, defeating the best, particularly the arrogant Australian Anna Meares, and standing on the podium to the National Anthem bring tears to the eyes.

Ostracised and exluded by her fellow cyclists, with Scott and Steve Peter's inspirational support, she has achieved world renown with more to come. There is a message here, even if a cliche, if you have the ability, keep going even in times of adversity. Victoria's father Max seems to have been interested in her development but not in an overtly emotional way. His attitude was important - drive and keep driving. Victoria's mother kept her feet off the pedals with a homely motherly approach. This is a remarkably open story of a remarkable woman who has pinnacled even higher in the publics' eyes since publication. An athlete who quit cycling in 2010 and cajoled to return for the London Olympics, has had a balanced objective to legendary success through many participants, coaches, fiancee, family, colleagues etc. It is Victoria herself, however, who can stand tall and proud of her historical achievements. An exceptional woman and athlete. A role model for any aspiring sports person. She has given so much to herself and her public. Brilliant. Nothing but the highest respect and recommendation.
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