December 13 , 2009

The Racer

Life on the Road as a Pro Cyclist


What is it really like to be a racer?

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What is it like to be swept along at 60kmh in the middle of the pack? How does it feel to be reeled in from a solo breakaway metres from the line? What happens to the body during a high-speed chute? What tactics must teams employ to win the day, the jersey, the grand tour? How does a domestique keep going to the end of a stage once his job is done and his body exhausted? How does a time-trialist maintain his form when every muscle and sinew is screaming at him to stop? What sacrifices must a cyclist make to reach the highest levels? What is it like on the bus? In the hotels? What camaraderie is built in the confines of a team? What rivalries? How does it feel to be constantly on the road, away from loved ones, tasting one more calorie-counted hotel breakfast?

David Millar offers us a unique insight into the mind of a professional cyclist during his last year before retirement. Over the course of a season on the World Tour, Millar puts us in touch with the sights, smells and sounds of the sport – the barked instructions of a road captain in a sprint chain, the silence of a solo training ride. This is a book about youth and age, fresh-faced excitement and hard-earned experience. It is a love letter to cycling.

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