Books on cycling have never been more popular and the summer months leading up to the Tour de France in particular makes BikeRadar’s office look like the Bath branch of Waterstones. Here’s a quick look at our reading material for the coming months.
Road to Valour, by Aili McConnon and Andres McConnon
Road to Valour is the story of Gino Bartali, two-time Tour de France winner, war hero and alongside Fausto Coppi perhaps Italian cycling’s most famous son. While many have won cycling’s most prestigious race (he stills holds the record for longest span between wins – a decade from 1938-48), not many are remembered as war heroes.
Bartali aided the Italian Resistance against the Nazis during World War II and sheltered a family of Jews in an apartment he financed with his cycling winnings. He was also able to smuggle identity documents hidden in his bike frame past Nazi checkpoints, under the guise of a national hero in training. After the war, the chain-smoking, wine-loving 34-year-old recaptured the Tour de France title, restoring pride to his fractured homeland.
The book, written by Canadian siblings Aili McConnon (a journalist for Business Week magazine) and her brother Andres (a historical researcher specialising in World War II) is apparently the first to be written about Bartali in English and is based on interviews with his family, former teammates, a Holocaust survivor he saved and a decade of research. It’s available from 28 June in hardback for £20, published by Weidenfeld & Nicolson.
How I Won the Yellow Jumper, by Ned Boulting
This second edition includes a new 64-page chapter on last year’s Tour, entitled How Can Won the Green Jersey. It’s available from 21 June in paperback or Ebook from Yellow Jersey Press priced £8.99.
Slaying the Badger, by Richard Moore
Inside the Peloton, by Nicolas Roche
AG2R pro Nicolas Roche uses his Tour diaries originally published in the Irish Independent as a basis to elaborate on his life and career so far. Originally published last year, there’s no new material in this new paperback edition of Inside the Peloton but marks a good opportunity to take a look at the winner of last year’s Irish Sports Book of the Year. It’s available now, published by Transworld Ireland, for £8.99.