If David Millar’s book Racing Through The Dark was all about his feelings about his cycling lifestyle, his doping and his redemption, this book is all about being on the road, on a bike, and being the fastest around for miles.
Whereas Millar wrote a very internal book, Robbie McEwen‘s is very external and it’s all the better for it. Robbie has always struck me as a pretty straight-talking guy and this book reads as if he were sitting in the room with you, telling you stories of days of glory.
He really brings the excitement, the suffering, the boredom, the unpredictability of being a professional cyclist to life. When he winds up for his sprint, it’s like you’re riding on his handlebars and driving to the line with him. I reckon I did a couple of arms-in-the-air victory salutes as I read about him coming across the line, with Zabel or Boonen (or even Cavendish) behind him, much to the consternation of my fellow commuters.
He gives an incredible insight into how to actually make it through an entire Grand Tour if you’re a sprinter: how to get over mountains within the time limit when your legs are screaming for you to stop, how to ride the gaps to save as much energy as possible and how to win a stage after you’ve taken a hard spill that’s put you so far behind that even the cars have passed you by (the Canterbury stage in the 2007 Tour de France). This is a book that really gets the heart racing and keeps it revved until the end. Ten out of ten for Mr McEwen …
By Robbie McEwen and Edward Pickering (Ebury Press, £14.99).