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Argyle Armada: Behind the Scenes of the Pro Cycling Life Hardcover – March 1, 2012


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 200 pages
  • Publisher: Velo Press; First Edition (1 in number line) edition (March 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1934030813
  • ISBN-13: 978-1934030813
  • Product Dimensions: 0.9 x 11.7 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #627,696 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“Johnson was there, as he puts it, “like a jellyfish” to record a chapter in the life of one of the quirkiest teams in cycling.” — Bicycling magazine
 
“A happy medium between writing and photography…An insightful journey.” — BikeRumor.com
 
“From pre-season presentations through the Classics, Grand Tours and beyond, Johnson goes behind the scenes, beautifully documenting the ups, downs and sideways moments of Slipstream Sports’ 2011 season.” — Paved magazine
 
“Mark Johnson has done a great job portraying an unrestricted view of the inner workings of the annual traveling circus that is pro cycling. Inspirational photography paired with an uncanny recollection of anecdotes makes Argyle Armada a must read.” — Peter Stetina, professional cyclist for Team Garmin-Barracuda
 
Argyle Armada brings back a lot of emotion of a long season. It’s amazing to see what a full year looks like in photos… Argyle Armada is a great keepsake from a great year.” — Christian Vande Velde, professional cyclist for Team Garmin-Barracuda
 
“With vivid photos of the racers and support crew, Johnson weaves a narrative of physical pressures and business stresses…Johnson takes full advantage of his special access.” — American Society of Media Photographers
 
"Johnson is a fine writer.... secondly, he is a truly excellent photographer in both technical and observational senses. The illustrative part of this volume is finely judged and highly entertaining." —TheWashingMachinePost.net
 
“Johnson rides inside the left ventricle of the team for a full year and the reader is rewarded with a raw and visceral look at how professional cycling is adapting to post-millennium strategies. [Argyle Armada is] a smart book written and photographed by a smart guy.” — Scott Tinley, teacher, author, and former professional triathlete
 
Argyle Armada [is] an important book for all who are curious about what is going on behind the scenes in cycling. It’s a look at the sport itself, through moments in one team’s season.” — Cyclismas
 
“Mark Johnson is unique. It’s not often that someone is not only a great writer, but is also a great photographer.” — Competitor Radio

From the Back Cover

SPORTS/CYCLING

Victory at Paris-Roubaix. Four stage wins, seven days in the yellow jersey, and the team prize at the Tour de France. Stage wins at the Tour of California and the Vuelta a España. Fighting for first place with a budget half that of their main ProTour competitors, the 2011 Garmin-Cervélo team became one of the most admired teams in pro cycling.

Founded in 2003 as a low-key development squad for young American cyclists, by 2011 Garmin-Cervélo had evolved into a fully international enterprise that shook the foundation of the pro cycling establishment. Though the team lacked a lavish budget and the big-name stars of its ProTour competitors, it convincingly won some of the world's greatest races.

Writer-photographer Mark Johnson spent a year embedded with the Garmin-Cervélo professional cycling team, recording its most intimate personal dramas and its public celebrations. From winter training camp on the cobbled lanes of medieval Girona, Spain, to hard-earned stage victories in July's Tour de France, to flesh-shredding crashes at the Tour of Spain in September,Argyle Armadadelivers an unprecedented look at America's most celebrated cycling team.

Argyle Armadais a portrait of life as a member of a pro cycling team during a time of painful transition for the sport. Inside the team buses and stage-race hotels, cycling struggles to shake off the hidebound traditions of the past and expand to a global sports franchise. The charge is led by Garmin-Cervélo team founder Jonathan Vaughters and his unconventional band of bike racing revolutionaries.

More than a book about racing,Argyle Armadaunveils the dramatic forces that Garmin-Cervélo navigates as team founder Jonathan Vaughters tries to push forward his vision of a reformed sport. Along the way, countless difficult decisions must be made to keep the team competitive in the chase for ProTour points, money, respect, and fame.

With all-access insight and spectacular color images,Argyle Armadaoffers an unprecedented look inside one team as it battles for the future of professional cycling.

Foreword by Jonathan Vaughters


More About the Author

Mark Johnson has written about and photographed cycling since the late 1980s. Born in San Diego, California, he studied English literature and photography at UC San Diego and completed a Ph.D. in English literature at Boston University. While in New England he began writing and shooting for cycling and general-interest publications, including the US-based magazine VeloNews beginning in 1993. He continues to do so today for titles such as VeloNews, Ride Cycling Review (Australia), Velo (France), Cycling Weekly (UK), Bicycle Club magazine (Japan) and the Wall Street Journal. He also writes and shoots for clients in the cycling industry. Mark has bicycled across the U.S. twice and is an avid surfer. He lives in Del Mar, California with his wife and two sons. Learn more at ironstring.com

To meet Mark in person, attend one of the his book talks where he'll discuss life with the Garmin team and show images from the book as well as fascinating outtakes. http://argylearmadabook.com/events/

You can also watch Mark talk about the creation of Argyle Armada in this short video from VeloNews magazine http://tinyurl.com/6rdejrg

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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See all 13 customer reviews
Well written, beautiful photos and a lot of heart.
Alvaro
Great for people interested in learning more about the pro cycling tour, or for those who already know lots about it.
Jane
It also makes the reader appreciate how much Jonathan Vaughters has done for the sport.
valley rider

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By rongroth on March 9, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Every time I pick up this book I read another piece that gives me great insight into the life of a pro cyclist. The book is beautiful enough to be a coffee table art piece or can be an entertaining read on your bedside table. Yes, I am a huge fan of cycling and this book fills my need to know more. The personal touch throughout has me rooting for the team in the current season. The photos are wonderful and the writing is top notch. An excellent gift for a cyclist! (That's why I bought another one!)
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Alvaro on April 8, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Reading Argyle Armada was an incredible experience, the photos were amazing. There are a lot of stories behind the scenes that we as fans never knew. Well written, beautiful photos and a lot of heart.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Jane on March 4, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is an incredible book. The writing is outstanding and captivating, and the photos are amazing. Great for people interested in learning more about the pro cycling tour, or for those who already know lots about it. Both a book you'll actually want to read as well as a beautiful coffee table book to display.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By F. Pavich on May 20, 2012
Format: Hardcover
This is a fantastic book for both fans of pro bike racing as well as for the casual observer. It traces the entire (and amazing!!) 2011 season of the Garmin-Cervélo squad in both text and gorgeous photos.

What makes it particularly interesting for me personally is that this is a team that is beyond dedicated to racing drug-free and they are having amazing results while helping to keep the sport clean. Aside from that, they are on the, shall we say, lower end of overall team budgets yet they have outstanding status which is what really makes a great team to me (it's not all about Yankee-sized payrolls and one or two superstars, but rather this is a true cohesive team with many many great riders to root for). I mean come on, 2011 had them win not only the bone-jarring Paris-Roubaix race but they really had an incredible showing in the Tour de France - which each year keeps me glued to my TV for the entire month of July!!

This book has a wonderful symmetry and balance between the photos and the writing which gives the perfect amount of insight and behind the scenes facets. I really can't recommend it enough. Flipping through it is getting me pumped up for the 2012 Tour!! I cant wait!!!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Brian Ruhm on July 23, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Johnson brings at least three things to his account of a year in the life of a pro cycling team that set it apart from any other commentary I've read on the sport (and I've ready plenty): unprecedented access, striking imagery, and crisp, lucid prose. From the get-go it's apparent that Johnson was fully embedded with the Garmin team. As a result, the reader sits in on early team meetings and promotional shoots, joins in on pre-season training rides through the Spanish countryside (with the requisite stops for espresso and replenishment at hole-in-the-wall cafes favored by the pro peloton), and takes in almost every major event in the annual pro racing calendar from the vantage point of the director's team car. Johnson provides more than just a recounting of all that transpired over that time span though; his is a story of a team attempting to transform a sport, and the obstacles and resistance they face in pursuit of that task. Within that major story line, Johnson also captures the human element of cycling more successfully than any other author I've encountered: the brutal demands the sport places on its athletes; the extent to which personal bonds and commitments sustain a team like Garmin-Barracuda (now Garmin-Sharp); the loyal, deep seated, tradition-bound fan base; and the ecstasy and agony that a rider like Johan Van Summeren in particular experiences between his Roubaix triumph and his Vuela D'Espana near-death experience. Finally, Johnson brings a sense of hope and promise that, as I suggest in my title, make this a worthy counterweight to Paul Kimmage's powerful but dark and pessimistic account of his own experience in the pro-peleton circa 1990.

Johnson's photos and the hardcover format will tempt you to leave this on the coffee table, but his witty, vivid insights will likely bring you back to it again and again. I couldn't recommend this book more strongly and actually just purchased another copy for my father's birthday.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By R0s3 on July 15, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Argyle Armada is a wonderful look into the behind the scenes world of pro cycling as well as road life (the good and bad) of a busy UCI team. This book has a ton of cool facts plus insight and explanations, a TON of great photos, and is a MUST for any team Garmin fan. As an avid cycling follower, this book is a great resource to me not only to describe/explain team Garmin, but it also takes you through the races of 2011 that G-Cervelo attended. It is almost a written and photographed cycling history for the year. The quality of the book is AMAZING and I would recommend this work to any and all cycling fans or cyclists.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By valley rider on May 7, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I really liked this one. Most "cofee table" books are strong on pictures but light on story. This one has a well written and informative story to go along with the pixs. It also makes the reader appreciate how much Jonathan Vaughters has done for the sport. It also makes you cheer for the Garmin team more than ever.
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