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Sean Yates: It's All About the Bike: My Autobiography Hardcover – 12 Sep 2013
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"A candid and unflinching account of his three decades in the sport, of interest to anyone who has followed his long and fruitful career. Yates is not afraid to pull punches throughout this autobiography and you have to admire his honesty... refreshingly far removed from what we have grown used to in many similar releases." (Sky Sports, Cycling Books of the Year)
"Brilliant. This is, in many ways, an old-fashioned book chronicling the transformation of a cycling-mad kid from West Sussex into possibly the most respected domestique in the peloton, who also claimed a famous time-trial stage victory of the Tour de France in 1988 and wore the yellow jersey for a day in 1994. This book does full credit to an outstanding career." (Brendan Gallagher Sweetspot Cycling Book of the Year shortlist nomination)
"A very good read... one of those rare well written cycling autobiographies that engages the reader... better by far than the other recent autobiographies that could be filed under 'British Cycling and My Role in Its Rise to Glory'. The whole thing has a charming, casual air about it, like a couple of old mates sitting down over a pint and reminiscing about the past. It's nice to be reminded why Yates used to be such a legend." (Podium Café)
"Sean Yates is the real deal - tremendous determination, talent and commitment - the classic hard man from that era. In a way reading the book made me glad I didn't become a pro cyclist." (Cycling Uphill)
"For years Sean Yates was by far and away the most successful British rider in the Tour de France since Tommy Simpson. Then came Cavendish, Froome and most of all Wiggins. After retiring from racing Sean Yates was to become Team Sky's Race Director and a figure central to Wiggins' 2012 Tour victory. A great and revealing book." (Mark Perryman Philosophy Football, autumn sports books review)
The sensational autobiography of the British cycling legend and architect of Bradley Wiggins's Tour de France triumph.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
He rightly increases the focus back 'on the bike', with detailed recollections of training, racing & rivalries but you feel there's a fair bit unwritten on the drug issue. For someone who's been at the top end of the sport for a long time during the 'drug years' - as both a pro rider and team staffer, you feel he could have added some useful insights, if only to put in context some of what has been written, although he rightly says he has a no intention of naming names & places.
I fell out of love with the sport after the 1998 Festina drugs affair at the TdF, which was a seismic event at the time - a long held suspicion was suddenly and very publicly laid bare, and spoken of (at the time) as being a 'turning point' for drugs in cycling - how wrong that was. Some words on this and subsequent events is surely hard to ignore for someone who had a grandstand view of the action.
It's interesting to consider why some of the personalities who have loomed large on the bike scene during his career are not mentioned among the contributors, or provided recollections.
I'd agree with his summary of the drug issue, that it's impossible to unpick its complexity in retrospect, and that to scapegoat a select few is unfair - more discussion of what has been discovered of the sports sordid history, and his thoughts on it would have been welcome. His approach of glossing over the (known) drug related back story of some of the sports memorable moments is a bit odd too.
Nonetheless, drug issues aside, there was a lot of stuff about the bike, and it quite often had me laughing out loud - very readable - recommended!
The challenge of conflating a lengthy sporting life in to 300 pages seems to have been cathartic. He doesn't spare himself from exposing the personal conflicts in his life. For example, he addresses his own health issues candidly together with a strained and ultimately doomed marriage yet retains a touching dependence on his former wife.
Anecdotes abound that turn around the topsy-turvy years with Peugeot before gaining stability and status in the peloton. A manic trainer, tireless racer and general obsessive, vignettes of his career and the personalities and events that flecked his journey flow with wit and self-deprecation.
He remains fond of, and loyal to, Lance Armstrong, a friendship that endures. However, a selective view of his doping and other activities is difficult to accommodate and this contact led to his premature retirement from Team Sky.
Sean Yates emerges as a complicated character, driven, sometimes indiscreet and often insensitive to those nearest him. Nonetheless, professional cycling is the poorer without his presence.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Very interesting read. Growing up watching Yates, he was my first non-hero hero - ie the first guy who made me realise cycling wasn't just about the person winning the race. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
Brings back memories and provides a great insight into cycling in the 80s through to the sky eraPublished 3 months ago by J. Owens
A truly entertaining and compelling read. Refreshing to see such honesty. Amazing insight into the incredible life of one of the true pioneers. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Jason Michael Love
Great book compelling read interesting career. For cycling fans a must read book without all the doping stories.Published 8 months ago by keith Austin
As with many cycling books this isnt a 'complete' story. No mention of any doping, although to be fair Sean does say that isnt what the book is about. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Abe
A decent book, although I did struggle to really get into it properly & took some time to read it all.Published 8 months ago by CaptainSpenno