Domestique: The Real-life Ups and Downs of a Tour Pro Hardcover – 6 Jun 2013
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"If justice is alive and well in the world, this will be the sports book of the year 2013... a book that is well nigh impossible to put back on the shelf at the end of each chapter." (The Washing Machine Post.net)
"Interesting and revealing... the most accurate description of what being a highly-regarded domestique in the modern peloton is really like'" (Cycling Weekly)
"One of the hardest working domestiques in the sport" (Cycling Weekly)
"Couldn't put it down…the best insight into the peloton since Paul Kimmage’s Rough Ride" (William Fotheringham)
"A must read. Absolutely outstanding" (Paul Kimmage)
The compelling true-life story from behind the scenes of professional cyclingSee all Product description
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He never won a race as a pro. The pressure of team leadership exposed his limitations whereas he felt comfortable as a support rider. The Grand Tours became his metier, particularly the Giro d'Italia, which he regarded as his own race. If the Vuelta taught him how to survive, the Tour emerges as big, brash and lacking glamour with no time to relax. Riders feel stressed, particularly in the first week, when there are frequent accidents.
For Wegelius, doping was a personal thing. This avoids the issue. However, it was routine and he explodes the myth of omerta. Unusually, but not uniquely, he had a naturally high haematocrit level which, although accepted by the UCI, left him feeling vulnerable, his career innocently threatened by nature.
Nadir came at the 2005 world road race championships in Madrid. Without any naïve patriotism, Wegelius was riding for a living and a future. Although raced in national teams, it was not unknown for a rider to help a commercial teammate, for money. Wegelius struck a deal with the Italians at their instigation. The fallout affected him and a teammate who had been complicit in the arrangement. Both were banned for life from the national team. Further afield, the GB team manager resigned.
With maturity, Wegelius became a sage within the peloton. However, the Tour of 2010 became one Tour too many. Mentally and physically exhausted, disillusioned by the fickleness of pro cycling, he needed change. Marriage brought him the support and consistency that he had not known for a long time.
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