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The World of Cycling According to G By Geraint Thomas

Release date: 16th November, 2015
Publisher: Quercus

List Price: £20.00
Our Price: £10.00
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Following the briefest introduction, the ‘standard’ sporting biography soon becomes little more than an extended CV, a written procession detailing early development, the benefits of hard work, a leavening selection of amusing anecdotes and, ultimately, reward and recognition. The propensity for a large number of ghost writers to stick to this template almost certainly accounts for the genre’s indifferent reputation and why so many sports books are such a disappointment.

If any man had cause to reel off details of his incredible success, bearing in mind he’s still only 29, it’s Geraint Thomas, known to colleagues and cycling fans alike simply as ‘G’. Thankfully, G dispenses with the formulaic and presents us with an account which reads as though it was written by a massive cycling fan who managed to get to the very top of his sport.

Thomas’s rise was no fluke, however. He is a double Olympic champion, a talented rider who many believe will eventually become leader of a Grand Tour team, but he ignores such speculation to provide both a captivating insight into the sacrifices cyclists must make and an often extremely funny tale. We may have expected the former, but the latter is hardly a surprise: get a bunch of young sportsmen together for any period of time and what are they likely to talk about, or do?

Thomas pulls no punches when providing details, but one senses that the camaraderie cultivated during late night drinking sessions or time just joshing around acts as a powerful incentive and provides sustained encouragement for injured riders (and Thomas has had his fair share of injuries) to get back on their bikes.

The World of Cycling succeeds because Thomas avoids adhering to the standardised sporting biography template. It is obvious that he enjoys his chosen career and could fill scores of pages with details of the accolades, awards and trophies he’s already collected, but essentially Thomas simply loves being involved in sport. For him, cycling is a joyous occupation, a gratifying way to earn a living, even if it does entail having to shave your legs, an occupational hazard which sounds considerably more painful than some of the injuries Thomas and his fellow riders frequently incur.

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