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Olympic Gangster: The Legend of Jose Beyaert-Cycling Champion, Fortune Hunter and Outlaw Paperback – July 25, 2011


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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Separating myth from reality in Beyaert's story and bringing it together with the sure-handedness we've come to expect is award-winning author Matt Rendell."  —Bookseller

About the Author

Matt Rendell is part of the ITV Tour de France production team. He is the author of Blazing Saddles: The Cruel & Unusual History of the Tour de France, The Death of Marco Pantani, and The Official Tour De France: Centennial.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Mainstream Publishing; Reprint edition (October 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1845965930
  • ISBN-13: 978-1845965938
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.9 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,554,248 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Joseph M. Papp on June 5, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The publisher initially classified this wonderful book by famed cycling author and journalist Matt Rendell as "True Crime/Sport", but critic Redfern was right when he wrote (in The Independent) that, "Even that eye-catching combination [True Crime/Sport] doesn't begin to do justice to the many lives of Jose Beyeart."

Redfern continued, "His Olympic significance is his victory for France, aged 23, in the cycling road race in Windsor Great Park at the 1948 Games, but by the time he died at the age of 79 he had racked up an almost incredible tally of adventures. Always restless, always pugnacious - his first love had been boxing, and he was a keen barroom brawler throughout his life - he chafed at the servile life of a professional cyclist in Europe, and when offered the chance to cash in on his Olympic fame by opening a velodrome in Colombia he leapt at the chance.

Falling in love with the country and its people, he stayed, winning the inaugural Tour of Colombia in 1952, and over the next 50 years worked variously as national coach, bar owner, factory manager, treasure hunter, emerald miner, logger in the rainforest, drug runner (he was involved with the cocaine smugglers known as The French Connection) and, he hinted, at least once as a paid assassin.

Matt Rendell, who knows Colombia intimately, spent many hours interviewing Beyeart before his death, and has brilliantly pieced together a riveting tale that would be unbelievable were it not for his impeccable research."

There's little point to trying to reinvent the wheel here and surpass Redfern's review, which is spot-on and 100% accurate in the praise it heaps upon Matt Rendell's "Olympic Gangster." You simply can't go wrong with this book, and the surprise appearance of jade in Beyaert's life makes for a captivating tale.

Highly recommended!
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By pandah on April 23, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Interesting and an unexpected read. More people should check out this book. It reminds you to life your life to its fullest.
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Olympic Gangster: The Legend of Jose Beyaert-Cycling Champion, Fortune Hunter and Outlaw
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