Suggestions for best Cycling books?

Sagan My World:  Peter Sagan & John Deering

Focussing on his golden period of winning three consecutive World Championships this is certainly more entertainment than education.  That said its an enjoyable page turner and whether you start reading it as a fan of Sagan or not, he certainly projects a likeable character.  Also worth looking out for the hilariously obvious promotion of his sponsor partners dotted throughout it!

The Tour According to G:  Geraint Thomas & Tom Fordyce

This provides a fairly forensic breakdown of each stage of his 2018 Tour win as well as some background on his transition from Super Domestique to eventual Team Leader as hard earned form and lady luck permitted him to stand on the top step.  The book also features additions from those around Thomas sharing their views of him and of the 2018 race as it was unfolding.    

Mountain High:  Daniel Friebe & Pete Godling

A beautiful “coffee-table” type book providing history, detailed statistics and lots of glossy photos of what the authors consider to be the 50 most “legendary” climbs in Europe.  Ordered in finishing altitude they range from the 78 metre high Koppenberg from the Tour of Flanders to the 3,384 metre monster Pico de Veleta in Spain.  Equally suitable for just daydreaming of climbs or using to plan routes and logistics for an epic trip.

 

Mountain Higher:  Daniel Friebe & Pete Godling

The follow-up book from the same authors, seeks to unearth, describe and photograph what they consider to be Europe’s 50 most “extreme, undiscovered and unforgettable mountain roads”.  Examples across those broad measures include the engineering feat of Sa Calobra and the lesser known climbs such as the “secret side” of Alpe d’Huez  and the Colle de Nivolet.

 

Higher Calling: Max Leonard

Ever wondered what draws cyclists to hills and mountains?  This detailed read provides thoughts around the fascination with climbing, stories old and more recent about famous duels in the mountains, insights from the pro-peloton and even some historical explanation for the international importance of the famous mountain ranges.

 

The Secret Race: Tyler Hamilton & Daniel Coyle

A fascinating account from inside the UPS Team from chief confidant, turned arch rival of Lance Armstrong.  This book is credited as being one of the final straws that brought down Armstrong and it’s a fascinating read both in terms of accounts of races and the rise of Hamilton to also providing explanation, if not justification, for the decision to dope.

 

The Grand Tour Files 2019: Pete Linsley

If you’re missing the 2020 race calendar then consider this humorous look-back at each of the stages of the three grand tour races from 2019. Think of it as the funniest moments from each day’s five hours of Eurosport commentary distilled into a page or two.

 

The Descent: Thomas Dekker

Another biopic, this time more of a cautionary tale of a young Dutch starlet who had the cycling world at his feet before a self-destructive personality combined with prodigious doping and subsequent bans brought him down to earth.  Fewer details about racing and cycling and more a story of human fragility. 

 

Domestique: Charly Wegelius

An unusual perspective on professional sport from the essential, highly valued career domestique.  Although it touches on the doping scandals of the time this is more a detailed account of life as a rider taking his first steps as a professional, his progression through various teams and regimes and the harsh realities of professional cycling. 

 

Lanterne Rouge: Max Leonard

For those with more of a historic interest this provides a detailed account of the origins of the Tour de France including its “cult of survival” mentality, how the “Lanterne Rouge” became a much loved part of the race and numerous retellings of famous and infamous goings on in, mostly at the back of the race, over its history.

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