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Boy Racer Paperback – 3 Jun 2010

4.6 out of 5 stars 114 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Ebury Press (3 Jun. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0091932777
  • ISBN-13: 978-0091932770
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 2.4 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (114 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 15,864 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"Britain's best ever Tour de France cyclist" (ProCycling Magazine)

"The hottest sprinter in the world" (Daily Telegraph)

"Boy Racer...catch[es] the inner conflict between the impetuousness that makes Cavendish such a daunting competitor and the introspection that makes him such an interesting person" (Guardian)

"Refreshingly frank and entertaining" (Scotland on Sunday)

"Highly personal and revelatory and gives you a unique insight to one of Britain's most successful and respected sportsmen" (Telegraph)

Review

"Boy Racer - expertly ghosted by the cycling journalist Daniel Friebe to catch the inner conflict between the impetuousness that makes Cavendish such a daunting competitor and the introspection that makes him such an interesting person - winds its way to the top step of the podium from BMX races as a ten-year-old via spells as a bank clerk in the Douglas branch of Barclays and as a resident of the academy run by British Cycling." --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I have read a large number of sporting books in my time; some very good, many distinctly mediocre. This might just be the best one I have ever read.

Love him or loathe him - and it is difficult to be anywhere in between - Mark Cavendish is to sprinting on two wheels what Usain Bolt is to sprinting on two legs. If road cycling had anywhere near the same profile in the UK as athletics does, more people would be idolising this young man in the same way as the incredible Jamaican athlete.

Cavendish's autobiography weaves the tale of his four stage wins at the 2008 Tour de France with his life story up to and including his win at the 2009 Milan-San Remo classic. Although the book covers only the first two-and-a-bit years of a pro career which still (hopefully) has many successful years to come - and therefore does not include his six stage wins at the 2009 Tour - there is so much packed into the 340-odd pages that it does not feel padded at all.

The book reads in much the same way the man himself conducts himself in interviews: he shoots from the hip with his heart on his sleeve, occasionally inserting foot in mouth. But anyone who has ever seen Cav interviewed would expect no less: in a PC, PR-conscious world, here is a sportsman who is as brutally honest as he is fast. At times it is painfully obvious who he does and does not respect in the cycling world, and yet he is surprisingly self-critical, self-effacing and not afraid to admit when he has been proven wrong about someone. The book is full of little insights into the mindset of a master practitioner and behind-the-scenes revelations of what it is like to be a professional road cyclist, which make this a cut above the average sporting autobiography.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
for a boy who is constantly being told to read more books my mum brought this to get me reading because i love cycling and Mark Cavendish is an inspiration to me. I stayed in my room for a hole week of my holidays reading this book over and over and i think this is an brilliant book!! sorry if my English is bad!
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Format: Hardcover
I found `Boy Racer' to be an immensely satisfying and intriguing insight into the most talented sports star ever to emerge from the Isle of Man. Interspersed with his recount of his momentous achievements in the 2008 Tour de France and paradoxically calamitous under-achievement in the Beijing Games, is a heartfelt and moving account of his life and driving passions. This book is about a man with an unerring sense of self belief, whose drive and will to win define him.
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Format: Hardcover
This book is one of the most frankly written books on cycling that I have in my collection. Cavendish takes us on a whistle stop tour of his life and career to date. In parts hilarious, in other parts sad, he does not let his famed ego get in the way of the story but tells it as he sees it - to hell with the consequences. It will not make comfortable reading for a few people; but if you want an entertaining read (cyclist or not) then you could do a lot worse than buy this book. His awe inspiring description of the unfolding seconds of his victories is incredibly vivid and puts you right into his zone. The closest I have ever come to visualizing what it is like to win a stage of the TDF came whilst holding this book.
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Format: Paperback
Mark Cavendish is the fastest man on two wheels. Born in the Isle of Man in 1985 he discovered as a teenager that although he was a slightly tubby lad with rather short legs and a passion for junk food he had a love of cycling and an amazing passion for winning. This autobiography gives a little background into his younger days. He then rapidly moves the story through his teenage championships to reach the British academy and then finally his move into Prefessional racing.

Mark is a man who always appears to wear his heart on his sleeve and he tends to be very emotional. The Manxman admits that he can be volatile and outspoken but also points out that he is a comparatively young rider to be in the spotlight and he is obviously maturing and behaving in a more appropriate way now. Throughout this book Cavendish talks about his various teammates as well as many riders who are on other teams but whom he has had regular contact. I found this interesting as it was nice to find out what an "insider" had to say about names that I held in high regard or who I particularly disliked in the cycling world. However I must say that I thought his book showed great discretion and often when he mentioned incidents with particular people he would often mention his own inappropriate behaviour with regard to the same incident.

The layout of the book is rather confusing. The introduction gives a brief overview of some races and his interactions with certain characters. Each chapter is then headed as a Stage of the 2008 Tour De France. The chapter then incorporates the details of that days stage; this may be a few lines if it was a mediocre stage to a blow by blow account of most of the race if there were things of significance to Cavendish or his team.
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Format: Hardcover
I will never forget Mark Cavendish's response to a reporter asking what he had learnt today... "Nothing." He went on add that he had nothing to learn. This was day three of the 2008 Tour de France, with finishes in 120th, 100th and 10th, with the latter the most promising profile for the sprinter - the self-proclaimed fastest man in the world.

Not hard to see how the charges of arrogant and cocky come about!

However, at the age of 23, in this, his second ever Tour, Cavendish goes on to win four stages (followed by six wins in 2009). That puts him up there with the greats - even if not universally loved, it is hard to ignore his achievements, though many try.

The book covers the fourteen stages of Cavendish's 2008 Tour, interspersed with earlier staging points in his life and career. The epilogue deals with the disaster in the Beijing Olympics - Cavendish does not spare this Madison team-mate, Bradley Wiggins, nor the much applauded UK coaching staff for the lamentable preparation for this event.

As might be expected, Cavendish has a lot to say in this book. What you might not expect is just how articulate and insightful he writes, nor the awareness with which he readily admits his many mistakes and weaknesses. Not exactly humility, but Cavendish shares the bitter disappointments and his poor reaction to setbacks just as much as the victories. It is certainly a case of what you see is what you get. And what we get is a huge character to match a huge talent for cycling very fast over short distances.

To shoot to prominence in cycling is unheard of, at least from a British cycling perspective. Normally it is a case of grinding away in the ranks for years and years before being given a chance, so it might look like Cavendish has had it easy.
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