Monday, November 1, 2010

From the Library: Boy Racer...

"That's cycling - 279 kilometers, over cobbles that rattle your bones like 10,000 volts of electricity, in the wind and cold, with mud flying up into your face, into your eyes and mouth, with some big Belgian bastard on the front who wants to rip your legs off. That's cycling. Some of the blokes who race these days spend too much time worrying about their tan lines."
Never a big fan of Mark Cavendish (but never in the anti-Mark camp either), I have come away from my read of his book with, at the least, a better understanding of what drives him, and that honestly, is what struck me as the main point of this book. Clearly Cavendish is not a person who hides anything, he puts his thoughts and emotions on the line and as a result he has taken some knocks, been accused of being overly cocky, etc. I also agree with him in that the little time that the media gives is almost always inadequate and leads to misrepresentations. This book goes a long way toward helping to dispel these. Is he looking for vindication? I don't think so; I think the book is a way to explain himself, to provide media balance, and he is willing to let people make up their own minds.
As for the subtitle, yes the book does recount his journey to Tour de France record-breaker, stage-by-stage, until regrettably, he realizes it is time to pull out. The book is not great literature, but then biographies of athletes rarely are. I also dislike the way the book is organized; it sometimes feels like a lot of padding. But, it is an interesting read about one of the top sprinters in the sport, and I had no problem sticking with it.

Boy Racer: My Journey to Tour de France Record-Breaker by Mark Cavendish, Velo Press 2010

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