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11 cycling books you should read

We’re all spending quite a lot of time at home, staying inside and already running out of things to do, we can only take so many ‘Homes Under the Hammer’ episodes.

So, we thought we would recommend a small selection of cycling books for you to read while you sit by the window.

Here is a list of 11 books for you.

Full Gas: How to Win a Bike Race – Tactics from Inside the Peloton by Peter Cossins, £9.99

Full Gas: How to Win a Bike Race – Tactics from Inside the Peloton by Peter Cossins

Winner of The Telegraph Sports Book Awards Cycling Book of the Year 2019, Full Gas is a look inside the tactics of the professional peloton and the decisions made by directeurs sportifs during some of the most important races.

Bike racing, at times, can be confusing. This book is the perfect tool to explain what you’re not suire about, whether that be tactics, breakaways, bluffing, highs and the lows.

Where There’s a Will: Hope, Grief and Endurance in a Cycle Race Across a Continent by Emily Chappell, £14.99

Where There’s a Will: Hope, Grief and Endurance in a Cycle Race Across a Continent by Emily Chappell

In 2015 Emily Chappell took part ion the gruelling race across Europe, completely unassisted, in the shortest time possible, her first attempt ended prematurely with her waking up on her back in a field through sheer exhaustion.

A year later, she’s back to have another go, but does she make it, we’ll leave that to you to find out!

This is a story of how she made it up mountain passes, cascaded down the other side, got 20 minutes kip outside a village, and gave her all battling against self-doubt, confusion, sleep deprivation and desperation.

Racing Through the Dark: The Fall and Rise of David Millar by David Millar, £10.99

Racing Through the Dark: The Fall and Rise of David Millar by David Millar

A first-person look inside the inner workings of the pro cycling scene in what we might call the dark age of the sport.

This is a story of David Millar starting out as a pro in France, high hopes and lots of pressure along with partying a bit too hard, led to him being pushed towards the dark road of doping.

Doping for money and glory to keep his status, Millar was arrested when it was discovered that he was using performance enhancing drugs. Five years on, Millar wrote this book and opened up about his dark days.

One-Way Ticket: Nine Lives on Two Wheels by Jonathan Vaughters, £8.19

One-Way Ticket: Nine Lives on Two Wheels by Jonathan Vaughters

Former pro and current EF Pro Cycling manager, Jonathan Vaughters, writes about his career as a rider and how he went from a driven young rider to Tour de France stage winner, determined to make it big in Europe whatever the costs to his descent into doping.

Vaughters goes into detail about his career and what drove him to eventually come clean and give information to the USADA (US anti-doping), leading to the admission of doping from Lance Armstrong.

Sky’s the Limit: the Quest to Conquer the Tour de France by Richard Moore, £8.99

Sky’s the Limit: Wiggins and Cavendish: the Quest to Conquer the Tour de France by Richard Moore

This is a story of how Team Sky masterminded a dream Tour de France, culminating with Bradley Wiggins being crowned Tour winner in Paris shortly after his team-mate and current world champion, Mark Cavendish had won the final stage. Not to mention the fact that rising star, Chris Froome, came second overall.

This book follows the start of the Team Sky project and the amazing triumph in 2012 and Sir Dave Brailsford’s mastermind behind it all.

Magic Spanner: The World of Cycling According to Carlton Kirby by Carlton Kirby, £9.99

Magic Spanner: The World of Cycling According to Carlton Kirby by Carlton Kirby

A book full of behind-the-scenes stories from various cycling races which range from the interesting to simply hilarious to somewhat unbelievable, this is classic Carlton.

Starting out with the Eurosport commentator completely naked locked out of a hotel room in France, I think you have the sort of idea of where this book goes.

This also has details of what Sean Kelly, Brian Smith, Dan Lloyd and others are like to work with.

The Beast, the Emperor and the Milkman: A Bone-shaking Tour Through Cycling’s Flemish Heartlands by Harry Pearson, £8.64

The Beast, the Emperor and the Milkman: A Bone-shaking Tour Through Cycling’s Flemish Heartlands by Harry Pearson

Long-listed for the William Hill Sports Book of the Year 2019, this book looks at the full spring of cycling in Flanders along with its rich history mixed in with beer, crazy fans, myths and legends of the great Belgian region.

Pearson goes into great detail about all the races big and small and then smaller still. There are so many great stories surrounding these races.

The Death of Marco Pantani: A Biography by Matt Rendell, £9.99

The Death of Marco Pantani: A Biography by Matt Rendell

Extremely detailed and beautiful book, The Death of Marco Pantani is a story of how one of Italy’s most loved sporting greats met his end, along with his amazing career of being one of the only riders to challenge the now disgraced Lance Armstrong.

If you don’t know this tragic story, then this really is a must read. Even if you know it but haven’t read this book, then do as it gives such a detailed insight as to how it happened and why. Now updated with the 2014/15 investigation into his death.

The Secret Race: Inside the Hidden World of the Tour de France: Doping, Cover-ups and Winning at All Costs by Daniel Coyle and Tyler Hamilton, £8.19

The Secret Race: Inside the Hidden World of the Tour de France: Doping, Cover-ups and Winning at All Costs by Daniel Coyle and Tyler Hamilton

Winner of the William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award.

Former team-mate to Lance Armstrong, Tyler Hamilton knew all the ins and outs of how the American took his first three Tour de France wins before trying to win the world’s biggest bike race himself. Hamilton tells all to Daniel Coyle in extreme detail.

This is one of the most detailed looks behind the curtain at a world filled with driven, occasionally flawed, people where you did absolutely everything to get just a small edge on the competition. A place where you felt like you didn’t have a choice.

The Man Who Cycled the World by Mark Beaumont, £9.99

The Man Who Cycled the World by Mark Beaumont

18,000 miles in just 194 days and 17 hours. That was the Guinness World Record time set by Mark Beaumont, smashing the previous record by a massive 81 days. Beaumont cycled around the world in some of the most challenging conditions you can think of.

But, this isn’t just about Mark’s record breaking ride, it’s also about his childhood and his other amazing achievements on the bike such as riding John O’Groats to Land’s End when he was just starting out, to riding the length of Italy, helping to raise £50,000 for charity.

Eddy Merckx: The Cannibal by Daniel Friebe, £9.43

Eddy Merckx: The Cannibal by Daniel Friebe

The story of how Eddy Merckx, arguably the greatest rider of all time, dominated his rivals for 14 years. Basically ruining his rivals careers.

This doesn’t just focus on the astonishing highs of the Belgian’s career, but also delves into the darker side, looking in detail at the various issues the rider faced throughout his career and how he got passed them.

From failing three drug tests to a crash at a track meet in France that killed his pacer Fernand Wambst, this wasn’t a career that was just filled with joy and success.

This content was originally published here.

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