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The Bookstore

Reading suggestions from BikeRaceInfo

Back to McGann Publishing home page

Books and Bikes! Is there a better combination? This page carries links to purchase but also some books (not just about cycling) that have given us great pleasure and hope you'll enjoy as well.

If you find any of the books below to your liking, we humbly ask that you consider buying through the links we have provided. BikeRaceInfo gets a small spiff with each successful click-through that results in a sale.


Books by Les Woodland, cycling's most beloved writer. Les Woodland has been writing for cycling magazines and newspapers both in the UK and the US since the 1970s. His knowledge of the sport is extraordinary. Tourmen is a fascinating look at the Tour de France through the prism of the organizers. The Crooked Path, an exploration if cheating in cycling, is well-known and highly regarded. The Yellow Jersey Companion to the Tour de France has been updated since it was first issued in 2003. It is a virtual TDF encyclopedia and may be the best cycling reference book in the world. Cycling's 50 Craziest Stories is just what it looks like it is, nothing but fun.


Other favorite cycling books: Lance Armstrong's It's Not about the Bike might be the best sports book I ever read. Walsh's From Lance to Landis remains the finest explanation of the dark underside of professional cycling. Even readers who do not agree that certain of their favorite riders have used banned performance enhancing modalities will learn a lot from this book. Kimmage's Rough Ride is the classic cyclist's memoir, a heartbreaking story and I think the first to tell the truth about doping in the English language. Christopher Thompson's The Tour de France is a revelation. It's a social history of the Tour and every page has new information. Owen Mulholland has been writing engaging stories about cycling for many years and I'm glad that there is finally a collection of them. Uphill Battle is good stuff.


And five more terrific cycling books. Peter Joffre Nye's 6-Day history is filled with fabulous photos and has the super bonus of being written by Nye. Herlihy's Bicycle taught me so much. Jacques Anquetil fascinates, both as the first 5-time Tour winner and a man with a disordered private life. Howard's book Sex, Lies and Handlebar Tape does a good job of handling both. Roadie explains American bike racing with skill and good humor. 'Nuff said. And I couldn't resist a last plug for my own Tour de France book.


Wait, there's more... Matt Rendell's The Death of Marco Pantani is a surperbly researched inquiry into how a reasonably good rider could end up doing the Giro-Tour double and a few years later end up dead of a cocaine overdose in a hotel. It has a sort of "Days of Wine and Roses" feel, but that is inevitable because that exactly describes the final years of Pantani. It's a sad but excellent book. Jeremy Whittle is everyman. His Bad Blood describes his disillusionment caused by his growing understanding of doping in pro cycling. I couldn't put it down. Jeff Mallet's Trizophrenia pretends to be a book about triathlon racing. It's more than that. It's a philosophy-of-life book written by one of the smartest men I ever met. After all these years I didn't really know how smart and how profound a thinker Mallett was until I read Trizophrenia. The book is extremely witty, useful, well written and also wonderfully illustrated by Mallett, who is the best cartoonist alive. Do you know the difference between an Super Champion and a Vittoria Margherita derailleur? Which did Bartali use? Frank Berto's comprehensive The Dancing Chain reveals all. I don't know how he was able to get this book done in just one lifetime. There's that much in this giant bike-lover's book.

David Herlihy's The Lost Cyclist is not just one of the best books about cycling ever, ever written. It is a superb literary accomplishment, period. This is a wonderful book. Read it.

Wait, there's still more... Herbie Sykes' The Eagle of the Canavese, the story of Franco Balmamion, should be on every bike-nut's bookshelf. He tells the story of late 1950s and early 1960s Italian cycling well and I think it's the only the only good English-language book on the subject. William Fotheringham's Fallen Angel is a work worthy of its subject, Fausto Coppi. I had to stop doing any productive work and finish the book. It's really good. Get them both.