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The Race Against Time: Obree, Boardman and the Quest to be the Fastest Man on Two Wheels Hardcover – 9 May 2013

4.5 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 314 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam Press; 1st edition (9 May 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0593070267
  • ISBN-13: 978-0593070260
  • Product Dimensions: 14.4 x 3.1 x 22.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 591,595 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"For anyone wanting to understand the roots of British cycling's recent triumphs, The Race Against Time is essential reading, and it is Pickering's thorough research that makes it so." (Rouleur, Ian Cleverly's pick of 2013 cycling books)

"Two rivals, two ways of thinking about the world, very nicely told." (Evening Standard)

"Super." (The Scotsman)

"Chris Boardman and Graeme Obree are both highly individual characters and brilliant bike riders in their own right and this book from Edward Pickering does them proud with a detailed look at how they contested the Hour record throughout much of the '90s. The story telling is excellent as befits two such strong characters. Boardman could be seen as the establishment Team GB figure reserved and scientific while Obree was a working class maverick riding home-made bikes using parts of his washing machine. To a degree you can paint their rivalry as that between science and art but ultimately both were united in their quest to go faster and their quick intuitive minds." (Brendan Gallagher Sweetspot Cycling Book of the Year shortlist nomination)

"A great read about a wonderful episode not just in British cycling but in world cycling too. Pickering brings a fresh perspective to the telling of the tale and strips away some of the myths that surround two riders who have become living legends." (Podium Cafe)

Book Description

The fascinating and revelatory story of the epic sporting rivalry between Graeme Obree and Chris Boardman and the start of a revolution in British cycling

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4.5 out of 5 stars
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A highly entertaining and enjoyable read about a very interesting challenge is how i would sum up this book. The hour record is a fairly unique sporting challenge, you either succeed and break the record - or fail. this tells the story behind a series of attempts over a couple of years in the 1990's.

The real fascination behind the book is the difference in character of Chris Boardman and Graeme Obree. Both thought outside the box and both pushed the sport forward massively. Without doubt, British Cycling's success and Bradley Wiggins' Tour de France win owes a massive debt to both of them. This book tells how Peter Keen started a revolution in applying science to cycling - the revolution that continues to this day with Team Sky.

Chris Boardman's contribution to British cycling has been recognised but after reading this book, I felt that Obree's may have been overlooked. Graeme comes over as a complex character which helped him push the boundaries as far as he did, the knock-on effect was that Boardman & Keen also had to push the boundaries of technology to keep up. Obree was a true innovator of the type who treads the thin line between genius and madman! Certainly without each other, this story would not be anywhere as exciting and the record wouldn't have kept getting broken.

A well written book which is certainly a must for any cyclist, but also a genuinely good read for any sports fan.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
It's been a while since I've been properly engaged into any book concerning pro-cyclists. Recent literature has been littered with drug abuse "cash in" stories or utterly tedious autobiographies, playing to a marketable achievement.

Then along comes "The Race Against Time".

Like both Obree and Boardman, I was nervous on the start line as I browsed to page one. These are two iconic cyclists with huge characters to match, offering real potential for an author to play to the reader's inherent perception as to what they are about to consume. The nerves had gone after the first chapter. Edward has clearly taken pains to offer narrative rather than judgement, his book paints the picture with just the right amount of analysis which left me nodding at the end of each chapter. I already knew the individual stories of Obree and Boardman but had never understood how intertwined they were and the potential affect that each had upon the other. Edward clearly lays this out as the narrative flicks between the two making comparison where required. I may be wrong but I detected a clear affection for both Obree and Boardman within his words. For once I appeared to be reading a book that the writer wanted to write, rather than one that his publisher thought could sell.

The writing style is excellent and accessible, the two stories are compelling and well told without the need for hyperbole. I'd urge anyone with the slightest interest in cycling to purchase this book.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I had this book recommended by a friend who came to stay with me in Japan a few months ago, and having finally got round to reading it, have to say that it was a real page-turner.

It’s quite apparent with each new chapter that the author has gone to a lot of trouble tracking down most all of the characters both on the peripheries and directly involved with Obree and Boardman during their careers. The result is an incredibly well-rounded and well-informed narrative, full of anecdotal asides which, as well as giving a fascinating insight into the rivalry between two massively talented competitors, also informs the reader of a good historical perspective as to how (partly stemming from said rivalry) a once moribund sport - at least in the UK pre early 90’s - had new life breathed into it and continues to grow in popularity post Beijing 2008 / London 2012.

The book seems to me to have been a labour of love for the author. In summary, it’s a great read, accessible to the layman or bike nut equally.
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Format: Hardcover
Once started I could not put the book down. Ed brought the story of the hour and Boardman and Obrees rivalry and success to life with a series of detailed insights and pieces from other participants in the play! Well done Ed a really enjoyable read.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A very interesting book but it really focused on the career of Chris Boardman. History shows that he was one of the best racers against the clock that we have ever seen, but the claims that all our more recent successes on both track and road rely entirely on the work that Boardman and his team did are surely a little to strong. What about Brailsford, Wiggins, Hoy, Pendleton? Do their efforts count for nothing? Not enough credit to Graham Obree. A very talented rider against the clock, whose remarkable experiments with bike designs and riding positions changed the way that all racing cyclist ride. He worked with only a fraction of the funding and support that Boardman received. The claims that Boardman was robbed of success in the Tour De France because of doping are something that many riders could make. Boardman's only success in the TDF came in the early time trial stages where he excelled. If you are looking for men who could ride against the clock and win the major Tours then Coppi, Anquetil, Merckx,Indurain were all the greatest in their day. Chris Boardman could never figure on this list.
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