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Heroes, Villains and Velodromes: Chris Hoy and Britain's Track Cycling Revolution Hardcover – 15 Sep 2008

4.6 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: HarperSport (15 Sept. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 000726531X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007265312
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 3 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 468,696 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

‘This is an absolutely must-read book…Moore has cleverly used the very cogent words of others to paint a picture of real characters within a new order’ Graham Obree, Scotsman

‘A cracking story…I couldn’t put it down’ Hugh Porter, BBC cycling commentator

‘Like its hero, this book is the real McHoy.’ Scotland on Sunday

‘An excellent book’. The Sunday Times

‘…an inspiring tale. And in Richard Moore it has a splendid chronicler.’ Independent on Sunday

‘This is a must-read book that tells a story that had to be told.’ The Scotsman

‘…a gripping inside story of how Team GB’s cyclists rode to glory.’
Independent on Sunday

From the Author

What?

This is the story of Chris Hoy, Olympic, world and Commonwealth champion - arguably Britain's greatest ever track cyclist - and the evolution of the world-beating team of which he is such an integral part.

How?

That is a good question. Just how did Chris Hoy, who was first inspired to race bikes by the BMX `chase' scene in the film ET, go on to become one of the all-time greats?

One word: persistence.

Hoy tried everything: he raced BMX for years, then mountain bikes... then he dabbled in road racing and time trialling, while also playing rugby (captaining Edinburgh schools) and rowing (and winning a silver medal in the British schools' championship)... when he eventually tried track cycling, though it was obvious that this was the sport to which he was best suited, few would have predicted how good he would become...

Hoy was fortunate to emerge when he did. In 1997 British Cycling won the lottery. Like other sports, it received a cash windfall from the new National Lottery - but cycling arguably put it to better use than other sports, establishing a programme that would propel Britain's cyclists from zeros to heroes - from being the laughing stock of world cycling to the leading superpower.

By the 2008 world championships, in Manchester, Britain had become the world's top track cycling nation. And a key figure in this revolution has been Chris Hoy.

Heroes, Villains & Velodromes tells the story of Chris Hoy's years as a budding BMX-er, mountain biker and road cyclist... and his early career as a track cyclist.

It also tells the story of the British track cycling revolution - who was behind it, who is involved today and what makes them so good - including the secret development of cutting-edge equipment, the equipment `arms race' that goes on between teams, and the psychological warfare of international track cycling.

It is a story of sporting success, skulduggery, suspicions of systematic doping, psychiatry (the British team employ a clinical psychiatrist whose previous work was in a high security hospital)... and of heroes, villains and velodromes.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Richard Moore has done it again, following on from the Robert Millar book, Richard has produced a book that is surely going to win as many awards as Chris Hoy has won world championships! As well as providing an insight into one of the last decades most successful sportsmen it also provides previously unknown information of how British Cycling turned itself around from one of the most underfunded and unsuccessful sporting organisations to be the envy of sporting associations across the world, one where even the Aussies want to copy us! Richard has had unprecedented access to Hoy during his 1km world record attempt in La Paz, Bolivia and throughout the year to the amazing Manchester world cycling championships where Hoy won the men`s world sprint championship at his first attempt, ending a 54 year drought in the blue riband event of track cycling. More than anything the incredible support that the Hoy family as a whole have provided Chris, is written about with affection, and you are left with a feeling that even though Chris does the pedalling it really has been a team effort to produce " Chris Hoy the Real McHoy." Richard Moore is surely becoming one of the most entertaining and investigative sports writers of this century. Buy this book if you want to know what makes an Olympic champion tick.
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Format: Hardcover
The story of Chris Hoy - and Craig McClean and other trackies - is told in Richard Moore's new book. It's an inspiring read, especially when you discover about the pathetic state British Cycling was in in the mid-90s.

This book will whet your appetite for the Beijing Olympics, and give you confidence that Team GB are in wonderful hands.
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Format: Hardcover
Heroes, Villains and Velodromes is an excellent read and was obviously very well researched.
I particularly enjoyed all the facts and figures. For example; Bolivia having the longest runway in the world,Chris Hoy's winning margin of five hundredths of a second equating to 2.3cm.
A excellent profile on Chris and all concerned with his success.
Perfectly explained even to someone who is not of the cycling fraternity and I would recommend it to cycling fans and newcomers alike. Well done to the author on this account alone.
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Format: Hardcover
Like so many people in the country I was blown away by the success of the recent Olympics in Beijing, but especially by the amazing performances of the GB cycling team. So when i noticed "Heroes, Villains & Velodromes" on the shelf of my local book shop I thought I'd give it a try. I wasn't sure what to expect really but what i got was a lively, entertaining and extremely well written read about the revolution in british cycling and Hoy's part in it over the last ten years. As Moore says in his comments it's not nessecarily a story just about Chris Hoy but he is the principal character and 'star of the show'
Hoy comes across a phenomenal athlete, ferocious competitor but also a genuinely nice guy who's dedicates hiimself completely to his sport, not for the money but for the thrill of winning and being a champion.
In today's money obsessed world of sport where even the most mediocre of premiership footballers can earn a small fortune, that is something truly awe-inspiring.
As one reviewer said there will probably be a re-release or additional chapters added to the paperback version to cover events in Beijing which you might want to wait for. However i would say that this insightful, well researched and engaging book is definitely worth buying.
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By NeilC VINE VOICE on 27 Aug. 2008
Format: Hardcover
This book is a great look into the history and story behind one of Britain's most impressive athletes. The book isn't just about a variety of topics Hoy, but covers a range of issues around track cycling and the changes that have happened in British sport. Moore writes in a very engaging way and uses a range of styles that keep the book interesting.
Only 4 stars for two reasons.
1. Given his recent Olympic Haul there's bound to be a re-release with an added chapter so you might want to wait for that.
2. The book doesn't really delve into Hoy's relationship with other cyclists especially the other stars on the British team like Wiggins, I would have been interested to hear more about the interactions between the various disciplines within track cycling.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Whilst Chris Hoy features greatly in the book, it is also a fascinating account of the development of British Cycling into what is probably the greatest and most successful British Team. It hides nothing and I found it both a truly inspiring and humbling account of what goes into becoming the best in the world .....three times over. A great read and a must for any cycling fan.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It is probably not fair to compare this to Chris Hoy: The Autobiography. If anyone asked I would recommend Chris's great autobiography. Simply because all the information in this book is in there and straight from Chris himself. The main thing I got from this book was that all the testimonials from other athletes and friends and even rivals for Chris all agree that the man is un-hateable, a supreme athlete and a great role model and ambassador of the sport. When you see things like that in an autobiography you think that people were told to say this but with an independent writer finding the same conclusions it is much more credible.

The book is well researched and written, as I said my main problem is it is a biography Vs an autobiography and the autobiography wins. Especially as it has not been extended to includes (now Sir Chris') great 2012, where as this book stops at the end of the Beijing Olympics in 2008. I also would have like to hear more about the other riders and the GB cycling team. This is a biography of a great athlete, but that is what it is and that is what it should be called.

All in all I did like this book but I would recommend that any fans of Sir Chris Hoy read his own book written by himself.
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