Book Reviews

Bradley Wiggins: Tour de Force by John Deering

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List Price: £12.99

 

Paperback: 256 Pages.

Published: 01 October 2012 by Birlinn Ltd

ISBN: 1780271034

EAN: 9781780271033

Rising from an inner city background, abandoned by his pro cyclist father as a toddler, Bradley Wiggins became a prodigious talent. World Junior Champion, World Champion and Olympic Champion were all titles that came his way at a startlingly young age, but what he really wanted was success on the road. Wiggo's reinvention on the path to becoming Britain s first Tour de France winner in over a hundred years of racing is one of sport s most uplifting and inspiring stories. In this captivating and insightful narrative, Wiggins old friend and colleague John Deering sets this remarkable story against the backdrop of Wiggins crushing Tour victory, his races along the thousands of kilometres of French tarmac, telling the tale of his brutal procession from Liege to Paris in counterpoint to his fascinating life. From a Kilburn council estate to the Champs Elysees via the Olympics, Paul Weller and the world s most glorious sideburns, the legend of Bradley Wiggins is unravelled like never before.

Reviews

4.0 Stars4.0 Stars4.0 Stars4.0 Stars  by Anne

A good reminder of a special event

In the 2012 Summer of Sport the highlight for me had nothing to do with the Olympics. The event which had me jumping up from the sofa and shouting with joy was the Tour de France. On the final stage, as Bradley Wiggins ignored the usual practice of celebrating in the pack and, wearing his yellow jersey, led the peleton at an alarming speed over the cobbles of the Paris streets setting up his team-mate Mark Cavendish for a record breaking stage win, I was totally immersed in the moment. After years of watching, and often despairing of,  this iconic event I was rivetted by the events which unfolded last summer.

This book relives the great event with one stage per chapter and interleaves these with details of the life of Bradley Wiggins. It is a great reminder for those of us who watched each stage (albeit usually in highlight form, except for the last one) of the whole race and some interesting autobiographical information about the eventual winner.

It is obvious that the author does not have access to inside information about Wiggins or the Sky Team. The description of the race is taken from the TV coverage and we don't get any added insight. The details of Wiggins' life are taken from previous press articles and books - every direct quotation is taken from published material. If you want revelations or unique information then this isn't the book to provide it - the author told me little that I didn't already know.

Where this book does score is that it is very readable and straightforward. The information is accessible and the author tries to show what has happened as objectively as possible (although it is very obvious that the book was published before Lance Armstrong finally admitted his cheating as it skirts round this in the usual manner adopted by journalists to avoid litigation).

This book earned four stars for me because it acted as a lovely reminder of an event in which I was completely immersed and retold the story of the golden cycling summer in a way that I enjoyed. (I also got it very cheaply). This is a good book if you are looking for straightforward information about one of the greatest sporting achievements ever.

 
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