Book round-up: Gino Bartali biography Road to Valour
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
How i won the yellow jumper, by ned boulting: how i won the yellow jumper, by ned boultingJohn Whitney/BikeRadar
Ned Boulting’s thoroughly entertaining debut book How I Won the Yellow Jumper was released last year shortly before the Tour, chronicling the trials and tribulations of being thrown head first into broadcasting a sport he knew next to nothing about. Almost a decade of covering the biggest race in the world later and he’s a hugely experienced cycling pundit, with the book taking an off-the-wall approach into how he got there.
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
Slaying the badger, by richard moore: slaying the badger, by richard mooreJohn Whitney/BikeRadar
Also getting a release in paperback is Richard Moore’s book Slaying the Badget on the intense Greg LeMond/Bernard Hinault rivalry during the 1986 Tour de France. This paperback edition, again available from 21 June for £8.99, is a great opportunity to revisit one of BikeRadar’s favourite books from the past 12 months. It also features a new chapter, with Moore examining the debate that his book’s subtitle, ‘The Greatest Ever Tour de France’, created.
Inside the Peloton, by Nicolas Roche
Inside the peloton, by nicolas roche: inside the peloton, by nicolas rocheJohn Whitney/BikeRadar
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.