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Boy Racer [Kindle Edition]

Mark Cavendish
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Boy Racer steps behind the scenes of the Tour de France. It unmasks the exotic, contradictory, hysterical and brutal world of professional cycling from the compellingly candid viewpoint of someone right in the thick of it.



Written off as 'fat' and 'useless' in his youth, Mark Cavendish is now one of cycling's brightest stars and one of Britain's greatest ever cyclists. Some have called him cocky, but to anyone who doesn't like his style, Mark will simply shrug his shoulders and reply, 'I know I'm good. There's no point lying about it.'



Peers say that they have never seen anyone with Cavendish's hunger for success and while this fearlessness - both in the saddle and on the record - has at times led to controversy, it has also earned him the respect of ever more fans.



In Boy Racer we follow him through the mayhem of the Tour de France in a page-turning journey of pure exhilaration.



Editorial Reviews

Review

“Mouthy former fat kid races bikes, kicks ass, hilarity ensues.” — Bicycling magazine

Boy Racer is an emotional, fast-paced and direct account of Cav’s transformation from awkward chubby teenager to world champion and Tour stage winner.” — VeloNews magazine

“Like being hard-wired into the brain of the world’s fastest sprinter. The closest to finding out what it feels like to be in the midst of a bunch sprint.” — Cycle Sport magazine's “Best 50 Cycling Books of All Time”

"Boy Racer is Mark Cavendish's brash, brutal and honest story of his life on the bike, full of the sound and fury of hand-to-hand combat at the finish line. Cavendish holds nothing back." — Sal Ruibal, USA Today

Boy Racer is without doubt an entertaining read. It feels as though Cavendish is talking directly to you, and he is, as you would expect, brutally honest. Boy Racer then goes at least some way in giving us an insight into the psyche of Cavendish and as a result makes fascinating pre-Tour reading.” — DailyPeloton.com

Boy Racer . . . catch[es] the inner conflict between the impetuousness that makes Cavendish such a daunting competitor and the introspection that makes him such an interesting person.” — The Guardian

Boy Racer is as interesting and as maddening as Mark Cavendish himself. This highly entertaining memoir is a good insight into one jumpy sprinter’s brain.” — PezCyclingnews.com

“Refreshingly frank and entertaining.” — Scotland on Sunday

“This is straight from the gut writing…showing a candid view of life in the peloton that most of us never get to see. Love him or hate him, if you’re a fan of cycling, Boy Racer will give honest insight into the politics of the peloton.” — BikeWorldNews.com

Boy Racer is essentially a masterclass in the art of winning relayed through the eyes of a young, hungry and sometimes impatient embryo superstar with a penchant for entertaining industrial language. It is also highly personal and revelatory and gives you a unique insight to one of Britain’s most successful and respected sportsmen worldwide.” — Daily Telegraph

Boy Racer is a fascinating ride to the top of professional cycling from humble beginnings. The book totally changed my perspective on Cavendish, and will do the same (for better or for worse) for any cycling fan that sits down and gives Boy Racer a chance. Cavendish’s true personality shines through every one of the 352 pages.” — BikeRumor.com

Boy Racer not only supplies a kind of autobiography of Cav’s early years, but also gives the reader a glimpse into life on the Tour de France at a level very different from superstars like Lance Armstrong. Cav offers excruciating detail of what it means to work at the back of the field just trying to hang on above the time cut-off; or taking on some mountain climbs that certainly do not favor the sprinters.  There’s a kind of wonderment, sincerity, and even naïveté to the writing, informed by the knowledge that nothing is ever given in sports or in life.” — TheWashCycle.com

“Few have brought the terrifying and visceral art of sprinting to life. Boy Racer redresses the balance.” — The Times

“This book surprises and inspires with outspoken views, insider insights and a life story to date full of fantastic highs and devastating lows. With the 2008 Tour de France as a backdrop, Cavendish takes us on a whirlwind tour of his life so far, a meteoric rise from young Isle of Man ‘scally’ to double World Champion track star. Along the way we learn of his apprenticeship with the GB track development team, getting taken on by the infamous T-Mobile squad (now Columbia-Highroad), and winning the Milan-San-Remo classic. Inspiring reading. . . .” — spoke.ie

“Offers a unique account of the world’s fastest sprinter.” — roadcyclinguk.com

“I have read a large number of sporting autobiographies in my time; some very good, many distinctly mediocre. This might just be the best one I have ever read.
“The book reads in much the same way the man himself conducts himself in interviews: He shoots from the hip with his heart on his sleeve, occasionally inserting foot in mouth. But anyone who has ever seen Cav speak would expect no less; in a PC, PR-conscious world, here is a sportsman who is as brutally honest as he is fast. At times it is painfully obvious who he does and does not respect in the cycling world, and yet he is surprisingly self-critical, self-effacing, and not afraid to admit when he has been proven wrong about someone. The book is full of little insights into the mindset of a master practitioner and behind-the-scenes revelations of what it is like to be a professional road cyclist, which make this a cut above the average sporting autobiography. Add this to the fleshing out of a personality far more complex, meticulous, and magnanimous (to his team) than the one-dimensional cocky narcissist sometimes portrayed in the media, and what you have here is a compelling tale that had me tearing through the pages much like the man himself does when he has the sniff of the finish line in his nostrils.
Boy Racer was unputdownable. I’ll be first in line to buy the next chapter of the story of this incredible young man.” — sportingreflections.blogspot.com

“Love the man or hate him, you won’t find much in Boy Racer to change your mind. It’s pure Cav—honest, outspoken, occasionally aggressive, imbued throughout with that trademark self-confidence you already find either charming or annoying. Even if you’re not a fan, this kind of peek into the peloton makes the book well worth reading. But if (like me) you do harbor a certain fondness for the Manx Express, chances are you’ll tear through this book with sheer delight and find yourself quoting bits of it for weeks to come.” — podiumcafe.com

“Can a youngster obsessed with barging his way through several other bicycle missiles in a 70kph scrabble string more than a couple of words together? Happily, the answer to that one is a resounding yes. This is an exceptionally well-written book; well constructed, never tedious, well paced, and above all else, highly interesting. From the give a sprinter an even break point of view, it ill behooves any of us to criticize until we know the full story, or at least the full story to date, and Boy Racer provides us with all the ammunition we need.
“There won’t be any difficulty getting to [the final page]; probably more of a problem putting it down in between. Quite a surprisingly good book.”
thewashingmachinepost.net
 

 

From the Back Cover

“Pure Cav—honest, outspoken, occasionally aggressive, imbued throughout with that trademark self-confidence . . . You'll tear through this book with sheer delight and find yourself quoting bits of it for weeks to come.
podiumcafe.com

“Exceptionally well-written.—thewashingmachinepost.net

“Refreshingly frank and entertaining.—Scotland on Sunday

No one's faster than Mark Cavendish. Written off as “fat and “useless in his youth, Cavendish has since sprinted to the front of the Tour de France peloton to become cycling's brightest star—and its most outspoken.

Boy Raceris a page-turning journey of pure exhilaration—candid, opinionated, and scrupulously honest—chronicling Cavendish's rapid rise from local hero to National Champion to Tour de France stage winner. Along the way, Cavendish takes us behind the scenes of the Tour de France to unmask the intrigue, the mayhem, the hysteria, and the adrenaline-fueled chaos of professional cycling.

Vivid, unflinching, brilliantly conveyed,Boy Racerwill sweep you up in the swirl of the racer's world and deliver you to the finish line with an insider's story from the freshest voice and most agile mind in bike racing.

Born and raised on the Isle of Man, Mark Cavendish became a world track champion as a teenager in 2005, won a Commonwealth Games gold medal a year later, and sprinted to four stage wins in the 2008 Tour de France. A year later, he confirmed his status as the world's fastest sprinter with a come-from-behind burst to victory in the Milan-San Remo one-day classic and finished the 2009 Tour de France with six more phenomenal stage wins.


Product Details

  • File Size: 2045 KB
  • Print Length: 386 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0091932777
  • Publisher: Ebury Digital (November 10, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0031RSB1Y
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #580,669 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I bought this book out of my love of cycling and not in particular a love of Mark Cavendish. I have always admired Cavendish as an outstanding athlete and thought he might have some interesting stories to tell. I love his blunt way of speaking and story telling. I have to say, I am now a Cavendish fan.

As an avid fan of the Tour De France you can't help but notice Mark and his unbelievable ability to sprint. At the end of any race you hear him give all credit to his team when he wins or see the broken heart. He is a true sportsman.

While the stories jump around a bit, it is a great inside look of how a sprinter survives the Tour de France and even has the opportunity to win a stage or more. I found it inspiring to hear his stories of people telling him he was fat, and that his numbers indicated he would never make it to the pro tour and how he told the sports scientists to basically "stick it".

I encourage any fan of the pro tour to pick up this book and enjoy a few days of new stories and insight into the sport.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best sports stories ever... July 18, 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Mark Cavendish, one of today's greatest young sports prodigies at just 24, tells his coming of age story in a speed-readingly riveting style. His battles with his opponents, coaches and, most of all himself in a voice very much his own. The story is cleverly weaved through each chapter - which begins with his story of each stage of the 2008 Tour De France and then shifts to a relevant part of his efforts to take himself from youth on the tiny isle of Man to the top of a sport in less than ten years.

It might seem absurd for a 24 year old to write an autobiography - but when you read it, you realize that the immediacy and freshness of the experiences make this almost a sportscasting style of biography with a rawness that is not possible if written through the lens of someone at the end of their career.

It's a deeply personal story of massive ups and downs - of Cavendish's inner battles with his own volatility and learning how to channel his often dysfunctional almost manic / depressive energy in ways that could be useful. From winning a world championship to sitting alone in a room eating endless bags of chips to joining a pro team to losing when he was expected to win, to his scally(wagish) pranks on his team-mates to their punishment with hours riding.

Cavendish is, of course, the brash hero - but he is self deprecating and appreciative of the people that brought him to where he is. Those that didn't help, of course, get a bit of a Manx-style smack-down.

Hats off / chapeau, Mr. Cavendish - you can write nearly as well as you ride.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars amazing August 28, 2010
By mason
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
cav is an amazing writer. i was so impressed by his writing talent and the way he dragged you into each race. couldnt put this down
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Love To Cycle December 30, 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I Cycle as a way of maintaining some form of daily exercise. So when I found a book about a young man who wrote of his journey into the inner realm of professional cycling and his experience in the Tour De France I was intrigued. The book tells a very candid story of Mark Canvendish's journey into the elite world of professional cycling. Of what it takes to get to that level and more inportantly, what it takes to stay there. It is a story of personal sacrifice and just plain hard work. Of working through pain and injury when all your body does is scream stop! Of going beyond what you think is possible and proving all the nay-sayers wrong. This book strips away the glamour of what the average Joe sees while watching the tour on TV and tells it like it is. If you enjoy cycling or are just interested in the daily grinds of a professional athelete, I believe you will enjoy this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very Mark Cavendish August 17, 2012
By R0s3
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I finished this book relatively quickly, so that speaks for something! A good read, I am glad I picked it up. As a super cycling fan, I felt I had to =). The book is written in first person through Cav's eyes. There were some "laugh out loud" moments, cool facts, and all centered around an interesting story. This book does contain a collection of bad language, so I'll throw that out there as a disclaimer. This book is a few years old; I hope there will be a "sequel", because I think it would be interesting to see the progression from this book (and the start of a career) to another and the end of the Mark Cavendish era. This book ends, of course, at the end of the beginning, leaving a "to be continued" feel. I would certainly recommend this book to cycling and Cavendish fans as not only a good story, but a great resource.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My first book about a cyclist November 21, 2011
Format:Paperback
This is the first book I've read about any cyclists, and I thoroughly enjoyed Mark's very open, unapologetically honest and often amusing way of talking about his life and career as a cyclist. It's a glimpse into his dedication to the sport, occasional immature behavior in life and career, his willingness to physically and mentally suffer for a sport he loves, and the integrity to compete without the use of ability enhancing drugs. It's amusing and eye opening, and I'm glad it was my first book of this sort.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brash and honest April 30, 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Cavendish is forthright, you always know what he is thinking. His background is surprising, he tells it to you in the first person, it not glossed over by some ghost writer. He is a current racer, a young man of our times. Read it before this year's Tour. It will make the viewing more interesting.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars An honest account of Cav's early days, full of ...
An honest account of Cav's early days, full of insights into what it takes to make the big time, and an enduring theme that passion and commitment still count for something in the... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Friel follower
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Great Stuff
Published 9 months ago by Andre CHAPPELL
5.0 out of 5 stars Great cycling litterature
As a hobby cyclist I really enjoyed the book. Gives us the lifestory on the great Cavendish, and adds some very exciting info on how the professional races developes towards the... Read more
Published 10 months ago by Osca Gjaevert
4.0 out of 5 stars Great view on the cycling world
Excellent written book,
Cavendish explains where he comes from and why he is the best cyclist of this time.
Recomended
Published 11 months ago by alvaro madrazo
3.0 out of 5 stars interesting story
Like reading about cycling, Cav is a great cyclist, just a bit self centered. Otherwise a good read. Good for all cyclists and enthusiasts to read
Published 15 months ago by C. Milleskie
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun book
If you are a sprinter or like reading about the Tour, then this book is for you. Very personal account. Easy to read.
Published 16 months ago by David
4.0 out of 5 stars Still undecided
Interesting parts in the book about growing up and getting into cycling. Some of the comments about other professionals surprising in that willing to comment on some but not on... Read more
Published 18 months ago by Bornagaincyclist
5.0 out of 5 stars Boy racer
Great read it show the real heart of the man there call cav 's, the love he has for his sport and his family
Published 19 months ago by les hart
4.0 out of 5 stars Such a fine read
This is a fine book. Mark Cavendish wrote it himself, not ghost written. His fresh , honest voice is compelling. Read more
Published 19 months ago by MaryO'Donovan
5.0 out of 5 stars A good read about a fat banker who's pretty quick on a bike
I've read a lot of cycling books and in a lot of them I like they guy less at the end. Not this one. Cavendish is a good guy and a real deal sprinter.
Published 21 months ago by E. Henry
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