Old Ned wrote:
'Sex, Lies and Handlebar Tape', the Jacques Anquetil story. A very revealing look at the life (sporting and personal) and times of one of the greats. Quite a few revelations to me amongst its pages and I now look upon him in a very different light.
Related, and a very good read, is Vin Denson's The Full Cycle,
recommended to me by a close friend of Vin (and Tom).
Yep, read it. There's mention (and photos) of several 'mutual acquantances' in it from his time with the Chester RC.
Just finished a marathon session of 'Tom Simpson'ing', reading the 3 books on his life. The first is his autobiography, 'Cycling is my Life', published after his World Championship win in 1965. Quite simplistic in its account of his life up till then in a 'I did this and then I did that' sort of way. The second is the 'True Story' by his nephew Chris Sidwells, published in 2000, written in a style that - as can be expected from a family member - tries to enhance Tom's image and gloss over the hype and innuendo surrounding his untimely death. The third is William Fotheringham's 'Put Me back on my Bike' from 2004, which is a much more objective attempt to tell the story as it was including the drugs issue, not only for Tom, but for the sport as a whole in that era. Another book that has altered my opinions of my boyhood heroes, not necessarily in a bad way, but opening my eyes to the way the sport was run and the pressures imposed on the riders by their agents, the event organisers, their directeur sportifs and the media. I can see now why they felt the need to 'medicate', in an age where the long term effects of the substances they were taking was not really understood, in order to meet their commitments and contracts and to earn a living whilst doing it.
I can recommend the 'trilogy' if you can find them. Mine came from the Manchester Jumble less then 2 weeks ago - I'm a fast reader
Wish I was as fast a rider
Today is the yesterday of tomorrow.