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PostPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2012 11:15 am 
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Right! I'm out of cycling books, as I've just finished the excellent A Race For Madmen by Chris Sidwell.

If you are interested in the TdF then this is a really fascinating book, it skips along at a fair old rate, and is not a blow by blow account of every race, but it's full of pretty interesting anecdotes, including snippets of interviews with some of the big names from the last 20 years and in my copy an eerily accurate prediction of the near future of the race and certain riders.

Not sure what next, Put me back on my bike has got to be a candidate, plus a couple of others I need to search out on the bay.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2012 12:31 pm 
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NeilM wrote:
Right! I'm out of cycling books, as I've just finished the excellent A Race For Madmen by Chris Sidwell.

If you are interested in the TdF then this is a really fascinating book, it skips along at a fair old rate, and is not a blow by blow account of every race, but it's full of pretty interesting anecdotes, including snippets of interviews with some of the big names from the last 20 years and in my copy an eerily accurate prediction of the near future of the race and certain riders.

Not sure what next, Put me back on my bike has got to be a candidate, plus a couple of others I need to search out on the bay.


You read the Death of Marco Pantani yet? Would be happy to swap for A race for madman?


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2012 5:23 pm 
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firedfromthecircus wrote:

You read the Death of Marco Pantani yet? Would be happy to swap for A race for madman?


Not read that, I'll PM you my address.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2012 8:35 pm 
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chriscl wrote:
"In Pursuit of Stardom: Los Nomades du Velo Anglais" by Tony Hewson.

A really good memoir of the early English 'privateers' who went to France in the 1950s to compete in Road Races over there.

Fascinating and hilarious in parts, possibly one of the best cycling books I've ever read.


I would recommend this book also, I really enjoyed it.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2012 1:33 am 
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I've just been through Blazing Saddles by Matt Rendell - as the first proper racing book I've read, I was quite impressed. Not much detail - it's very much a book that prompts you to dig further into individual riders' biographies - but as a brief summary of the TdF's history it's not bad at all. I personally never realised how truly ancient the whole 'doping' issue was, although considering how brutal/sadistic the Tour used to be, I can't say I'm surprised.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 18, 2012 9:24 am 
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I've just finished The Death of Marco Pantani.

I must confess that until very recently I had no interest in road riding, so I don't remember Pantani at all, but it's clear from the book that he was quite a phenomenon and he must have added drama to almost every race he entered.

A fascinating, if slightly depressing book, but also illuminating regarding the behind the scenes endeavours of the Italian authorities. Anyone who thinks Lance Armstrong was the first to organise EPO and other drugs needs to read this book!

As for Pantani himself, I think the outcome was possibly the only way for him to find peace. To borrow from a film script 'The light that burns twice as brightly, burns half as long'.

Rest in Peace Marco.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 18, 2012 10:07 am 
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Glad you liked it. I learned a lot about doping reading that book. :shock:

Finished a race for madmen the other day too. Great history of the tour.

I'm onto Flying Scotsman which is Graeme Obree's autobiography. I've seen the film but now to read the book.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 18, 2012 10:25 am 
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It was a fascinating read, and having also read David Millar and Paul Kimmage's books, you can only conclude that the UCI was using a guide dog and a white stick when it came to doping.

As for Pantani, I think the saddest thing is that he knew that with the exception of maybe one person, all the people around him, including his family, had long stopped seeing him as a person, and just regarded him as a money making commodity.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 18, 2012 11:16 am 
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I'll need to read Kimmages book at some point.

I think a lot of the people in Marcos life thought they needed to keep him cycling to stop him from being even more self destructive. There is a lot that could have been done to help him out, but as is often the case when someone becomes rich and therefore powerfull, too many people are frightened to take things in hand or he just used his power to swat them aside.

He was going to be a troubled bloke no matter the walk of life he took, but if he had been more normal it would have been easier to tackle his issues I think. :(


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 18, 2012 11:27 am 
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firedfromthecircus wrote:
He was going to be a troubled bloke no matter the walk of life he took, but if he had been more normal it would have been easier to tackle his issues I think. :(


No doubt about that.

It just seems that near the end, everyone was fighting everyone else and with the exception of Mengozzi, they all lost sight of a troubled little bloke called Marco.


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