What is it really like to be a racer?
What is it like to be swept along at 60kmh in the middle of the pack? How does it feel to be reeled in from a solo breakaway metres from the line? What happens to the body during a high-speed chute? What tactics must teams employ to win the day, the jersey, the grand tour? How does a domestique keep going to the end of a stage once his job is done and his body exhausted? How does a time trialist maintain his form when every muscle and sinew is screaming at him to stop? What sacrifices must a cyclist make to reach the highest levels? What is it like on the bus? In the hotels? What camaraderie is built in the confines of a team? What rivalries? How does it feel to be constantly on the road, away from loved ones, tasting one more calorie-counted hotel breakfast?
David Millar offers us a unique insight into the mind of a professional cyclist during his last year before retirement. Over the course of a season on the World Tour, Millar puts us in touch with the sights, smells and sounds of the sport - the barked instructions of a road captain in a sprint chain, the silence of a solo training ride.
This is a book about youth and age, fresh-faced excitement and hard-earned experience. It is a love letter to cycling.
©2015 David Millar (P)2015 Random House AudioBooks
I've read quite a lot of sports autobiographies and often been left wondering why I bothered - they're elite athletes that train, eat and rest... why was I expecting it to be entertaining!?
And then I read this. It's insightful, funny, moving, heartfelt, inspiring and thoroughly entertaining throughout. The trouble with a book as good as this is that others will surely pale in comparison!
The narration is excellent and captures the emotion and personality with which the book was written.
This is surely destined to be a classic cycling book - essential reading for any cycling fan for the next 50 years!
Really enjoyed the story. It's very well written and really gives a feel for the peloton.
The amount of insight into race strategy and life as a pro is excellent.
Narration is good, it seems that in an attempt to convey a matter-of-factness, the narrator decided not to have any bathroom breaks.
The last word of every sentence is pushed out, like he is busting for the toilet. It's a bit off-putting at times.
A well-written insight into life in the top-tier of world cycling, Millar paints a detailed picture of the ups and downs, the complexities and intricacies of a life spent racing bikes. The book is written with an intelligence and self-awareness that is often missing from (especially sports) biographies. As someone who has followed Millar's career and always suspected him as having one of the most highly strategic and tactical minds in the business, those suspicions were pleasantly confirmed with a book full of beautiful nuggets of analysis, which he explains in an easy to understand manner.
There are a number of excellent books written about the world of cycling or its individual personalities - 'Blazing Saddles', 'The Flying Scotsman', and 'Sex, Lies and Handlebar Tape' to name a few, but few put you into the mind of the rider in the same way as 'The Racer' does.
Sackville sounds very much like Millar. He has the same timbre and intonation, but added to this the skills of a vocal actor. You could be convinced that it's Millar himself reading the book.
A thoroughly enjoyable listen
Engaging narration and a brilliant insight into the life of a pro rider. Millar provides an honest assessment to the life in the peloton. The book has humour and warmth
I could not rate this higher
Fantastic book and a real 'no nonsense' style of story telling that gives you a good idea of what it must have been like as a pro racer. only downside was the narrators abrupt sentence stops, his delivery for me got a little too repetitive. that said, I enjoyed the book immensely and would recommend!
I've read plenty of cycling books as I'm an avid cyclist myself.
This book give you the most realistic insight in to the emotions and experience of a pro cyclist. Not just from a guy that won it all but from the road captain and all round great cycling brain of David Miller. Love insight to the end of a fantastic career too.
An impressive look behind the scenes of pro bike racing. A candid view of the ups and downs, the glamorous and the not so glamorous. David is honest in his assessment of his sport, good, bad, indifferent and what needs to change.
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