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Off to the Races: 25 Years of Cycling Journalism Hardcover – April 9, 2002


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 354 pages
  • Publisher: Velo Press (April 9, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1931382069
  • ISBN-13: 978-1931382069
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.3 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,870,805 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

GRAHAM WATSON, renowned for his stunning views of competitive cycling, is the sport's premier photographer. He has produced several volumes of his gorgeous photographs, including 20 Years of Cycling Photography.


SAMUEL ABT is associate editor of the International Herald Tribune based in Paris. He has written numerous books about the sport.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Eric J. Lyman on May 6, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I have always enjoyed Samuel Abt's articles on cycling in the International Herald-Tribune, so figuring out that I would enjoy his collection of articles in Off to the Races didn't require a great leap of faith. Still, I'm not sure I could have guessed that I'd enjoy it quite as much as I did.
Mr. Abt's keen eye and feel for words rarely produce spectacular results but they almost always capture the heart of the subject they are examining. What I didn't expect was the way reading all of these essays as a collection would work together to create a larger picture, the way that some talented designers can take a collection of paintings or magazine covers and organize them in such a way that they create a unique portrait when viewed from an appropriate distance.
The portrait this collection produces spans a 25-year period that starts with the tail end of the career of Eddy Merckx, cycling's Babe Ruth (if I can be permitted a baseball analogy...), and ending well into the era of its latest star, Lance Armstrong, the sport's Hank Aaron (...or maybe two of them). In between, all of the giants of the sport -- Greg LeMond, Miguel Indurain, Francesco Moser, Sean Kelly, Claudio Ciapucci, Laurent Fignon, Bernard Hinault, Chris Boardman, Jan Ullrich, Mario Cipollini, and the recently deceased Marco Pantani -- are presented as Mr. Abt saw them at the time, and not with the sometimes distorting benefit of hindsight. Add to that a host of profiles of other would-be champions, flash-in-the-pan talents, and colorful racers and you have a collection of articles that belongs on any cycling fan's bookshelf.
The photography, unfortunately, is not what it could be considering the talent of photojournalist Graham Watson and the photogenic nature of the sport. Unless Mr.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 4, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Not only are the stories in this book excellent, but I appreciated the author's introduction also, explaining the breakdown in three sections and the reasoning behind it. I was hooked immediately, and this author has a relationship with the riders that other journalists simply do not have, and therefore they cannot touch the vibrancy of the stories. Simply outstanding book.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 31, 2002
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a very interesting book about professional road cyclists in and around major races. It captures rising stars, athletes in their prime, and fading champions equally well. Venues and situations are clearly portrayed, and the short entries make the book a pleasure to read over a period of a couple of weeks (if you're on an indoor trainer or just plain busy, or both!). An inspiring read.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By J. E. Hallander on October 24, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I knew before I opened this book that I would like it as it is nothing more than a collection of many of his coverage articles over the years with the International Herald Tribune. I appreciate his candidness in sharing his early feelings on Bicycle Racing, and how his wife is responsible for getting him involved. That was a nudge that has given me years of pleasure reading his articles when they make it into The New York Times. The stories in this book were all new to me, and they further demonstrate the access to the riders that Abt has, and his ability to tell a cycling story that anyone could love.
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