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This review is from: Domestique: The Real-life Ups and Downs of a Tour Pro (Paperback)
I've always understood that the life of a domstique was tough, but this book made me appreciate just how hard it really is. Essentially it's little more than a life of pain and suffering. Unless you're one of the very few super domestiques, the financial rewards are pretty poor. And if you don't perform, then you're out of a job when your contract ends.
The story of how Charly fulfilled his dream of becoming a professional cyclist is very well told, giving an insight into not just his own professional life, but the way of life of the majority of the riders who make up the peloton. A story of how a world that looks so glamorous and shiney to the outside observer is so different for those who participate. He talks movingly at one point of envying the simple life of the man in the street, buying his morning paper, who looks up at the team bus in awe, whereas at that time Charly would change places with him in an instant. I particuarly enjoyed the section where he writes of the period when his career was coming to an end, as he realised that what he worked to hard to achieve and maintain was no longer a life he wished to live.
For anyone who wants to understand what is on the other side of the coin that Cavendish, Wiggins and Froome have written about, then this is the book to read.