RCUK’s Christmas Gift Guide 2015: cycling books

Books from the world of cycling to add to your Christmas wish list

Christmas is coming, with December now upon us and – for most people – that means starting to look at what to buy for your nearest and dearest, or what to ask for yourself.

As ever, we’ll be bringing you our Christmas Gift Guides, with RCUK’s hand-picked suggestions showcasing the best products for the wish list of any cycling fan.

After a cycling book for Christmas?

And to kick off, we’ve dived into the library and picked out nine top book from the cycling world, covering everything from autobiographies to the latest tech. So, without further ado, let’s kick off…

The Racer by David Millar

David Millar’s The Racer is the second book from the retired Scotsman as he recalled his final year in the pro peloton after professional career which started way back in1997.

The Racer tells the story of David Millar’s final season

Whereas his first book, Racing Through the Dark, was effectively an autobiography which told Millar’s story before, during and after his doping ban, The Racer is instead a fascinating insight into life on the road a pro cyclist, with plenty of behind-the-scenes stories from Millar’s long and varied career.

The Racer by David Millar – review

It covers Millar’s omission from what would have been a final Tour de France in 2014, and the shock and hurt it caused, and his triumphant farewell to Scotland as he finished the enthralling and brutal Commonwealth Games road race – one of only 12 men to do so.

What’s it really like to be a professional bike racer? David Millar gives you an unparalleled insight.

Price: £20

My Hour by Sir Bradley Wiggins

Sir Bradley Wiggins has paired up with renowned cycling author and journalist William Fotheringham for the second time with My Hour.

My Hour is the inside story of Sir Bradley Wiggins’ successful hour record attempt

Having previously collaborated on My Time, the inside story of Wiggins’ Tour de France win, this is the tale behind Sir Brad’s successful UCI hour record attempt this year.

My Hour by Sir Bradley Wiggins – review

The book offers an insight into Wiggins’ mind, as well as telling the story of what went into breaking the record. A must-read for any cycling fan about one of the sport’s biggest stars.

Price: £20

The Biography of the Modern Bike by Chris Boardman

Chris Boardman’s obsession with the tech behind bikes is well known – it was a major factor in his successful hour record attempts and has resulted in Boardman now launching his own bike brand.

Chris Boardman’s passion for road cycling tech has resulted in his latest book (Pic: Boardman Bikes)

Now the British ace has put that obsession on paper with a detailed look at the evolution of the bike. Co-written with Chris Sidwells, The Biography of the Modern Road Bike dissects the components, manufacturers, designers and the iconic designs which led to the road bike of today.

Top illustrations help to tell the story in a book which will appeal to all bike and cycling tech lovers.

Price: £25

The World of Cycling According to G by Geraint Thomas

Geraint Thomas is seemingly on the cusp of becoming British cycle sport’s next huge star, having added success on the road to two Olympic team pursuit gold medals on the track.

Geraint Thomas offers his view at the cycling world in his new book (Pic: Sirotti)

And the Welshman has released his take on the world of pro cycling in which he is starring, taking a closer look at the inner workings of the peloton.

Fans of the Welshman will be well familiar with his light-hearted matter and the book reflects that – mixing tales of success and training with nights on the town with some illustrious team-mates.

Covering everything from Welsh cakes to shaved legs, this is a humorous book which will certainly appeal to many.

Price: £20

Twelve Months in the Saddle by John Deering and Phil Ashley

What is it that makes cycling so great? With the rise of cycling in Britain, the rise of the MAMIL (Middle Aged Men in Lycra) has followed.

Twelve Months in the Saddle – by MAMILS, for MAMILS

And two men unashamedly falling into that category have decided to take a closer look, taking on 12 big cycling challenges, one a month for a year.

Twelve Months in the Saddle is the story of those challenges, from major events abroad to epic routes on these shores, and accompanied by stunning photography. This will be a familiar tale to many a cyclist.

Price: £16.99

Bernard Hinault and the Fall and Rise of French Cycling by William Fotheringham

Five-time Tour de France winner Bernard Hinault remains one of the most popular figures in French cycling, long after he called time on his illustrious career.

Bernard Hinault is the focus of one of William Fotheringham’s latest books

Still the last Frenchman to win the Tour de France, having claimed his five titles between 1978 and 1985, The Badger won many fans for his no-nonsense, combative style.

But what makes Le Blaireau tick? William Fotheringham’s book looks to find the answers to exactly that. A study on Hinault, and of French cycling as a whole, this is a must-read for lovers of Hinault, French cycling and the sport as a whole.

The Yellow Jersey Club by Edward Pickering

Just 26 living men know can count themselves as members of the Yellow Jersey Club – the exclusive group of riders to have won road cycling’s greatest prize.

What does it take to win the Tour de France?

But what does it take to win the Tour de France? What made Greg LeMond or Stephen Roche tick, and how does that compare to Messrs Froome and Wiggins?

What does it take to power through the pain barrier in the Pyrenees or accelerate to awesome heights in the Alps?

Renowned cycling author Edward Pickering examines all of that and more, offering unprecedented access inside the minds of cycling’s greatest riders – the men who have won the Tour.

Price: £20

Alpe d’Huez: the story of pro cycling’s greatest climb by Peter Cossins

Twenty-one hairpins, 13.8km amd scene of some of the most iconic moments in Tour de France history, Alpe d’Huez is one of the most famous climbs in road cycling.

Peter Cossins’ looks at ‘cycling’s greatest climb’ in Alpe d’Huez (Pic: Media24)

From Fausto Coppi’s triumph in 1954, to Nairo Quintana’s battle with Chris Froome on the penultimate stage of this year’s Tour, Alpe d’Huez has hosted some enthralling two-wheeled battles.

And Peter Cossins has taken a closer look at what makes Alpe d’Huez so special, telling the stories behind the headlines, the ‘tale of man and machine battling against breathtaking terrain for the ultimate prize’.

Price: £16.89

Cycling Anthology: Volume 6

Now back for its sixth edition, the Cycling Anthology has become to cycling what Wisden is to cricket.

The Cycling Anthology is back for its sixth year

Once again the anthology is packed full of interesting stories from some of the best cycling writers, with contributors including William Fotheringham, Richard Moore and Daniel Friebe, alongside former pros such as Daniel Lloyd and David Millar.

If you enjoyed volumes one to five, then there’s plenty more in store from the latest edition, and if you haven’t yet dipped in to the series then this is a must-have paperback.

Price: £8.99


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