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Heroes, Villains and Velodromes [Digital Download]

4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Fully updated to include the extraordinary scenes at London 2012, where Hoy won two more gold medals to bring his total to six and overtake Sir Steve Redgrave, this is the story of Britain's greatest ever Olympian.

Chris Hoy has been instrumental in British track cycling's remarkable transformation from also-rans to world superpower. Now, having rewritten the record books as Olympic champion in four different cycling disciplines, and with six gold medals, Hoy has become a household
name and established himself in the pantheon of sporting greats.

This is a fly-on-the-wall account of Hoy and his team as he prepared for the Beijing Olympics, where he became the first Briton in a century to win three gold medals in a single Games, and it has now been fully updated to include the extraordinary scenes at London 2012, where Hoy won two more gold medals, to bring his total to six and overtake Sir Steve Redgrave as Britain's greatest ever Olympian.

The story begins with Hoy's introduction to cycling as a BMX racer and his progression to Olympic champion, and explains the origins and evolution of Britain's world-beating team. It includes a bizarre visit to the world's highest velodrome in Bolivia and a spellbinding journey from the razzmatazz of the
European six-day circuit to the craziness of the Japanese keirin races.

Award-winning writer Richard Moore tracks Hoy throughout a season in the saddle, explores his motivations and mentors from a young age, and provides an unblemished insight into the mind of a champion and the largely unknown world of track cycling. It's a story that is fully updated with the remarkable events in Beijing in 2008 and London in 2012, two successive Olympic Games that were dominated by Hoy and the British track cycling team.

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Product details

  • Digital Download
  • ISBN-10: 0007351682
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007351688
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
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Product description


‘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

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

From the Author


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.


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. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Top Customer Reviews
33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A gold medal winning book! 9 Jun. 2008
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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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Chris Hoy the biography 2 Sept. 2013
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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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring 10 Jun. 2008
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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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well researched, excellent read 7 Aug. 2008
By Faster
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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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic!! 30 Aug. 2008
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Review of GB Cycling Zeroes to Heroes 31 Mar. 2010
Very good book covering the complete development of the GB Cycling team from almost nothing to the world class team we see today. Hoy naturally is a major player in the book but its a story containing him rather than one about him. This actually adds rather than detracts from the overall book and I suspect from what I've read about Hoy this would suit the man himself down to the ground.

I read the book over the same weekend as the 2010 Cycling World Championships in Copenhagen and it was fascinating to be reading about the personalities who were all playing major parts in the on-screen drama. A good book and written in an open and very readable format with lots of interesting background facts and insights.

Hoy comes across as an amazing talent who works hard at his craft and is supremely dedicated, its this that makes him attractive as a character in that he works hard for what he gets. As a person you clearly could not look for a better role model in a sportsman.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars What a great guy. He is a big supporter of youth ...
really enjoyable read but then he is one of my heros. What a great guy. He is a big supporter of youth cycling.

A great gift for any cyclist.
Published 18 months ago by Alanm
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Sir Chris Hoy is an inspiration to us all.
Published 20 months ago by Mike J
A good honest and unbiased view of the early days of team GB and Peter Keen's legacy. Although its understandable that with lottery funding the pursuiters would be the best bet for... Read more
Published 22 months ago by Coppi7
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book
Good read
Published on 18 April 2015 by Mrs Anna N Lintott
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting insight into a sporting great
Interesting insight into a sporting great And cycling as a sport.
Published on 26 Feb. 2015 by Ralph Dorey
5.0 out of 5 stars good read
Enjoyed reading the book
Published on 7 Sept. 2014 by J R C TUBB
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
a gift for my son he really enjoyed reading it.
Published on 4 Sept. 2014 by c dunbar-hesler
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
all as described -ok
Published on 9 July 2014 by Jackthelad1951
5.0 out of 5 stars Cyclists rule OK
We are both keen cyclists even though we are approaching our dotage. Enjoyed this insight enormously. Bye, I am off on my bike!!
Published on 8 Nov. 2013 by mrs dorothy brewster
5.0 out of 5 stars My Hero!
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... Read more
Published on 4 July 2013 by Smudge
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