Bookshelf: As we all know, Europe is the Promised Land of Cycling and as a professional athlete if you want to make it big you need to make it there. 2019 saw a Colombian, Egan Bernal, victorious, and a fascinating book, “The Big Climb,” recounts the ups and downs of a South American country's love affair with pro racing.
The Cambridge Dictionary defines an almanac as “a book published every year that includes information for that year such as important days, times of the sun rising and going down, or changes in the moon.” “The Road Book 2020” may not contain information on lunar phases but is a truly indispensable reference guide to the ups and down of this unique year in racing.
Deceuninck - Quick-Step, the self-proclaimed “Wolfpack” functions at a very high level in terms of teamwork and nowhere is this more obviously portrayed than in the video “The Wolfpack Insider: Tour de France 2020,” which gives an intimate view of the team's campaign at the grandest of Grand Tours.
What hath Covid-19 wrought? While the pro bike racing season was on-and-off-again outdoors, there was a surge in the popularity of e-racing, even with some virtual races actually contested by top riders, inside riding is now clearly A Big Thing. Striking while the iron is hot, noted coach Joe Friel's latest book looks at this trend and how to use it.
In mid-May a new website was launched to provide a venue for some well-known journalists to provide quality writing for bike racing fans. The site has delivered on its promise and the collective efforts of those involved has now become a book: “Racing in the Time of Covid,” a veritable Journal of the Plague Year.
Beryl Burton was one of Britain's greatest athletes and one of the best cyclists ever, a story brought to life and beautifully told in the DVD “Racing is Life - The Beryl Burton Story.”
The strange bike racing year that is 2020 has seen some confusing things like races with no spectators and Spring Classics in autumn but the weirdest is the overlapping of two Grand Tours as the Giro's final week coincides with the Vuelta's first. But in 1981 only three days separated the two races and Giovanni Battaglin, in the new book “48 Days,” tells the astonishing story of how he won both.
There is a very special jersey that, once you win it at a one day event, it is yours for a year wherever you race. This jersey, is of course, the glorious rainbow-striped confection first donned by Alfredo Binda in 1927. Its fascinating history is the subject of “Chasing the Rainbow: The Story of Road Cycling's World Championships” by Giles Belbin.