Olympic Gangster: The Legend of José Beyaert - Cycling Champion, Fortune Hunter and Outlaw: The Legend of Jose Beyaert - Cycling Champion, Fortune Hunter and Outlaw Paperback – 2 Jul 2009
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"A riveting tale that would be unbelievable were it not for [Rendell's] impeccable research" (Independent on Sunday)
"Separating myth from reality . . . and bringing it together with the sure-handedness we've come to expect is award-winning author Matt Rendell" (The Bookseller)
The remarkable biography of a 1948 Olympic cycling champion who became a swashbuckling fortune-hunter in ColumbiaSee all Product Description
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Any cyclist interested in that period of cycling & the characters it produced will enjoy this
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Redfern continued, "His Olympic significance is his victory for France, aged 23, in the cycling road race in Windsor Great Park at the 1948 Games, but by the time he died at the age of 79 he had racked up an almost incredible tally of adventures. Always restless, always pugnacious - his first love had been boxing, and he was a keen barroom brawler throughout his life - he chafed at the servile life of a professional cyclist in Europe, and when offered the chance to cash in on his Olympic fame by opening a velodrome in Colombia he leapt at the chance.
Falling in love with the country and its people, he stayed, winning the inaugural Tour of Colombia in 1952, and over the next 50 years worked variously as national coach, bar owner, factory manager, treasure hunter, emerald miner, logger in the rainforest, drug runner (he was involved with the cocaine smugglers known as The French Connection) and, he hinted, at least once as a paid assassin.
Matt Rendell, who knows Colombia intimately, spent many hours interviewing Beyeart before his death, and has brilliantly pieced together a riveting tale that would be unbelievable were it not for his impeccable research."
There's little point to trying to reinvent the wheel here and surpass Redfern's review, which is spot-on and 100% accurate in the praise it heaps upon Matt Rendell's "Olympic Gangster." You simply can't go wrong with this book, and the surprise appearance of jade in Beyaert's life makes for a captivating tale.
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