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Born to Ride: The Autobiography of Stephen Roche Hardcover – 7 Jun 2012
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"One of the most riveting sporting biographies I've read for ages" (Herald)
"While most people focus on his famous year in 1987, it's often forgotten just how precocious a cyclist Roche was early on in his career…an entertaining read" (John Whitney Bike Radar)
"Fascinating…a compelling read" (Cycling Shorts)
"The intimacy and tone of a fireside chat – possibly lubricated with a generous nightcap" (Daniel Friebe Outdoor Fitness)
"Highly recommended" (Cycling World)
The first full autobiography of Irish cycling legend Stephen Roche, who in 1987 defied all odds to win cycling's 'triple crown'See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
His account of 1987 is particularly detailed and insightful. The book also provides a glimpse at events surrounding his career generally and developments since his retirement. Particularly emotional and striking is his young son's battle against Leukemia.
In this reviewer's opinion, however, in contrast to his career, Roche's autobiography fails to touch greatness in a number of respects.
Firstly, to my surprise (as someone who found Stephen particularly engaging on his TV screen back in the 1980s and early 1990s), Roche doesn't come across as the most sympathetic of characters. He is, by his own admission, opinionated and assertive in his views - perhaps too much so at times. His treatment of a lot of events also comes across as somewhat superficial - to my surprise I found myself warming much more to Bjarne Riis when I read his own recent autobiography.
Also by his own admission, Roche is very hard on his son, the cyclist, Nicholas. He wastes no time in criticising his son's approach to cycling and castigating him for not adopting his views on cycling. To me this was somewhat troubling in light of the next point.
Whilst Roche does discuss doping in his book, the treatment came across to me as somewhat superficial.Read more ›
The stories and the thoughts behind the action in the book are fascinating. Stephen's personal views of the nature and culture of cycling in the 1980s-the teams, the Directors Sportif, the teammates and the rivals are the needed details. They fill in gaps in the urban legends and the well-documented stories that have become the lore of cycling. To be allowed into the depths of that world, just a bit, is a compelling read and well worth the price of admission.
Setting the stage with the details and drama of the World Championships of 1987, Stephen Roche narrates the tale of that fateful day, bone-numbingly wet, riding the circuit course at Villach, Austria. "During these early laps I am just staying in the wheels, sheltering from the wind behind other riders, freewheeling almost. That's obviously an exaggeration, but that's how easy I want it to feel, so that I can save everything I can for the end." The winning strategy, the gear choices, the details of the day are the simple things, like putting on three rain jackets layered upon each other, that make for a build up that seems so very personal and intriguing. It also makes a fascinating read for fans of cycling and of sports psychology.Read more ›
Unlike the Riis and Fignon biographies where you actually came out with a far better perspective and understanding of cyclists who were not overly popular in their day I was left feeling no better towards Roche.
As for all the doping this will follow Roche until he dies, my harsh opinion is he probably did know about doping how could he not, its like top bankers saying I had no idea this was going on, we are talking about elite operators here, people at the roof of their professions and as a team leader of course he knew. Did he do it? We will never know and he will never tell.
He come across as very ungenerous.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I'm still relatively new to road cycling so reading books like this is a great way to absorb some of the history. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Mr Paul Bray
Very well written and Stephen gets across how dedicated, moral and professional a cyclist he was.Published 21 months ago by Andy Noon
Brilliant read which explained many things about this much gifted riders mercurial career.Published 21 months ago by Mr F Whitehouse
With all the revelations about the systemised doping culture surrounding Lance Armstrong's team in the 1990s, it was interesting to read a story of a time before cycling was... Read morePublished 21 months ago by Mr. Iain R. Wear