**Winner - Sweetspot Cycling Book of the Year**
For 11 years I was a professional cyclist, competing in the hardest and greatest races on Earth. I was in demand from the world’s best teams, a well-paid elite athlete. But I never won a race. I was the hired help.
When my mum dropped me off in a small French town aged 17, I was full of determination to be a professional cyclist, but I was completely green. I went from mowing the team manager’s lawn to winning every amateur race I entered. Then I turned pro and realised I hated the responsibility and pressure of chasing victory. And that’s when I became a domestique.
I learned to take that hurt and give it everything I had to give, all for someone else’s win. When the order came in to ride I pushed out with the hardest rhythm I could, dragging the group faster and faster, until my whole body screamed with pain. There were times I rode myself to a standstill, clutching the barrier metres from the line, as the lead group shot past. But that’s what made me a so good at my job.
As my career took off, I started looking at the fans lining the route, cheering us like heroes. The passion for cycling oozed off them, but they couldn’t know what it was really like. They didn’t see the terrible hotels, the crazy egos or all the shit that goes with great expectations. Well, this is how it is…
Crackin book and well written. Brings it to light how much dedication and how much sacrifice is needed to get to the top! Yet when you get there it is a quick drop back down once it is over. By all means he has made a good account of himself. Could be doing with some more race stories to brighten it up a bit.
A Very Well Told Story
I very small amount of background, before leaping into the world of cycling. I loved it and rattled through it. The text reads well and the descriptions of the emotions felt on the bike is probably the best I've read so far.
If you want to read a book about a cyclist and not the doping, then read this one..
A fantastic alternative perspective on the pro-peloton. Definitively worth a read. Charly's memories really capture the highs and lows of a devoted career that will sound familiar to every average Joe - working hard for the boss with only occasional recognition for all the blood, sweat and tears.