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on 20 July 2015
The book starts off fairly well and was interesting, especially his early life, but I got fed up with it around halfway. There are a few spelling mistakes (no excuse nowadays) and a lot of it is poorly written - probably due to his accent and local slang - so have to be read over to fully understand.
As far as pro riders are concerned, MC grew up closer than my home than any other, so I really do want to like him and support him the most, but that's not easy having now read his book, as I got fed up with him repeatedly stating how brilliant and fast he is; we know he's fast, that's why he cycles for a living! All in all, he comes across more big-headed, egotistical, and immature than I thought he was, so I really couldn't care less if he wins or loses.
Reading this book immediately after David Millar's does not help as DM comes across as genuinely modest, and openly takes about all his personal problems and cheating within the sport during his era.

Boy Racer appears to have been written to top up his wages as soon as he started getting tour stage wins, and as it ends less than halfway through 2009, really not much pro years content at all.
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on 25 January 2011
I've had a phase of reading biographies lately, not all sporting, some good some dire. But for those who have excelled in their chosen field the recurring message has been self belief and motivation. Mark Cavendish has this in abundance. Others have identified this as arrogance but that does Mark a disservice as he frequently acknowledges his own shortcomings and from time to time compassion gets the better of him. He is outspoken and opinionated but this stems from his formidable self belief which many interpret as arrogance and a huge ego. He doesn't suffer fools gladly. He knows what he can do and what he can achieve. He sets his sights on achieving this.

His book is well written and flows well. I only spotted a couple of grammatical errors toward the end. The editor has done a very good job to maintain the fluency with which Mark has clearly documented his life so far. The content is as expected structured around cycling although he does not neglect issues that are on the periphery. For a young man of 23 years old with considerable talent whose career is beginning to blossom I found his account of his life so far immensely refreshing. There is no padding or waffle which is probably an indication of the man himself. What you see is what you get. He also gives the impression of not suffering fools or those who do not contribute 100% gladly which no doubt accounts for some of the more difficult situations he has found himself in either through his own making or beyond his control. Swagger ........ well come on! He's a young man approaching the top of his game with the whole world at his feet and he knows this. Isn't he entitled to be just a little confident. As he matures I am sure he will learn to how to deal with criticism set backs more "diplomatically". He wears his heart on his sleeve. His book definitely lifts the lid on what it is like to be a professional bike rider, the training, the pain, the relentless riding, the set backs, the politics, doping, testing, the squabbles, life within the teams, the comraderie and winning. He clinically takes the reader through what it is like to win a stage in the Tour de France. His account is so well written you feel as if you are riding with him all the way. He is as generous in praise as he is in criticism of those who fail to perform, break or bend the rules.

This book is a compelling and very enjoyable read. Hopefully it will dispel some of the very negative press he has unjustly received from the media. He is set to be the most successful British cyclist ever. He has certainly achieved more stage wins on the TdF than any other Brit. I suspect, as many who read this book, that I was wishing I had had the determination and self belief he had at such a young age. For all his faults you can't end up liking him. A very good book indeed for a first attempt from a man still so young. I look forward to his next installment.
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on 1 August 2014
I, like most British cycling fans, like Mark Cavendish. This book is a pretty detailed account of his racing career up until the 2009 Tour. Some bits, particularly the description of his preparation for the Milan San Remo win, and his disappointing 2008 olympics with Wiggins, are gripping reading. Unfortunately though, much of the book is rather dry and I found myself skipping through several sections. It is worth reading though, especially if you understand enough about cycling to understand the significance of his achievements.
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on 25 March 2014
Cav has to be one of my current favorite cyclists.outspoken , passionate, down to earth etc. The book however was disappointing. There were plenty of interesting moments and interesting accounts of various races but i found the overall feel of the book a slghtly too bitter "lets set the record straight" type of deal. I also wanted to know a lot more about his early career which wasn't covered in much detail. Perhaps it was written a little too early on in his career. I'm hoping for better in the next one.
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on 22 April 2012
Not quite finished but have to say when I started reading, I didn't like Cavendish very much. I'm an amateur racer in USA cycling and can relate to some of his experiences. I found the further I read, the more I started to like him. I've read both books by Lance Armstrong and Cavendish is much different not only because he's British, but also because he's a sprinter. It's given me a different perspective on the world of pro-cycling and a new perspective on sprinters, especially in the major stage races.
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on 4 October 2011
Great read for both cyclists and none cyclists alike.

An excellent and addictive read, I couldn't put it down!
I was looking forward to reading this book although a little apprehensive! Would it be as good as he is a sprinter (world champion 2011) well the answer is definitely yes, it was well told and written. A great insight into his life, along with his perspective on the cycling world.
I look forward to the next instalment of his journey through life.
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on 13 October 2009
This book is very, very good. I have to say I'm not a fan of the D list celeb autobiography that this initially appears to be, lets face it, before his TDF exploits no one outside of cycling knew who Cav was, but this book is excellent. It gives you enough of Cavs personality to make you like the guy (and hate certain Italians without ever having met them), gives a good insight into what riding with the peloton is like and is genuinely well written. My only moan is that we don't really get to find out what Cav thinks about the whole doping scandal of the tour and he cries a lot ;). That aside it's one of the most enjoyable sporting autobiographies I've read and easily the best book about cycling.
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on 5 July 2010
Firstly, like 95% of the people who will read this book, I am a keen cyclist.

Secondly, like 95% of people who will read this book, I had a low opinion of Cav as a cyclist. His arrogance, the swagger, then no bull attitude that comes with him doesnt wash with all.

This book changed my opinion of the lad. It is very well written and I love how its chapters (or as the book calls them, Stages) phase in and out so seamlessly from his early childhood, to when he was at the academy, then as a pro with T-Mobile and finally with HTC.

This book is a must read for all pro cycling fans weather youre a Cav fan or not. I read it within two days, I just couldnt put it down.
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on 13 November 2011
To many of us, someone writing a biography in the first third of their life, or just a few years into their hopefully long career, surely looks like hubris. But Cavendish already has a tale-of-a-lifetime to tell, and he does so superbly. If Cav actually penned this himself, without the services of a ghost-writer, then he can add writing to his list of talents too. This is an excellent autobiography - interesting, informative, and above all, honest. He knows what he's good at and he knows what he's bad at. He demands total support and loyalty from his team and everyone around him, and returns it with a considerable amount of interest.

The highs and lows of training, racing, jumping from road to track, dealing with rivals and the daily life of a pro cyclist are all described in Cavendish's inimitably humourous straight-forward style. His successes have piled up since the conclusion of the book, and the next installment should be just as good.

Like other reviewers, I've had my opinion of the man reversed by this book. It will appeal to anyone with even a passing interest in cycling or professional sports in general
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on 3 September 2012
Although I enjoy cycling and own an expensive Marin I'm not technical-savy, nor do I have a thorough knowledge of Europe cycling routes - espcially the Tour de France. So,why did I purchase this book? I got this book because I think Mark Cavendish is a fascinating character and so wanted to read a bit more about him. If you are buying it for the same reason, I wouldn't, unless you are a major fan.

Saying that I did learn a lot from it and there were sneakbits into Mark's personal life explaining why he thinks he comes across the way he does. At times he is even arrogant here in writing but explains himself well and to be honest, he is deservedly big-headed.

I purchase the Kindle edition of this but should of got the paperback because of the photos. They are always something I like to refer back to and it was difficult to do so on the Kindle even with the inclusion of a bookmark.

I am giving this 3 stars because I felt it wasn't coherant enough and only for the hardcore cyclist - not much was explained. But I understand people who are more into cycling could perhaps rate it higher.
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