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A Significant Other: Riding the Centenary Tour de France with Lance Armstrong Hardcover – August 1, 2004

4.2 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


'Half the book is made up of Pena's account, filtered through Rendell, of the key stages in Armstrong's tour victory last year. Much of the rest is devoted to Rendell's reflections on the Tour's history and culture, from the sadism of its founder Henri Desgrange to the present, with a Tour that has become less Gallic and more global.' INDEPENDENT (5.7.04) 'Rendell elegantly elucidates the tactical technicalities of cycling's unique mixture of cooperation and competition, teamwork and individualism...The beauty of Rendell's brief book is that he has secured the cooperation of a real-life domestique, the Colombian Victor Hugo Pena, who was a key member of Lance Armstrong's US Postal squad on his way to a record-equalling fifth Tour won last year.' -- Matt Seaton GUARDIAN (10.7.04) 'Rendell packs[s] in a great deal of very useful information, while that unforgettable day is recaptured vividly.' -- Geoffrey Wheatcroft DAILY MAIL (16.7.04) 'there is a scholarly quality to A SIGNIFICANT OTHER, a short but powerful book that uses the diary of a domestique in the 2003 Tour de France as the counterpoint to the author's exploration of the true nature of top-class competitive cycling...you won't find a better analysis of the extraordinary collective feat that is a team of cyclists working together at speed.' -- Simon O'Hagan INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY (18.7.04) 'Rendell's explanations of the technicalities of cycling formations combine admirably with the chapters in Pena's voice, when we see these moves put into practice. The result is a rare sports book that actually gives an idea of the experience of being a professional athlete.' -- David Horspool TLS (30.7.04)

About the Author

Matt Rendell has written for television documentaries, contributed to television sports coverage for the BBC, ITV and Channel 4, including the British coverage of the Tour de France. He currently writes for Procycling magazine.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Weidenfeld & Nicolson (August 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0297847163
  • ISBN-13: 978-0297847168
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 5.6 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,292,299 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This is a curious book, cutting between Pena'a narrative of an individual stage, which is great if you're a racing cyclist (I am) or an enthusiastic fan, and Matt Randall's history and philosophy of bike racing. Matt could be accused of overly philosophising, especially when he's trying to use professional cycling as a metaphor for the sins of globalisation, which is a bit of a stretch. I enjoyed the read, the book misses out on a top rating because of Matt's final chapter. It's a bike race, fortunatly Pena provides the narrative to carry the politics!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Fantastic! (full review at later date)

Rendell really is an amazing writer. It's too bad his work wasn't in a more lucrative and high-profile field, however, since I can't help but feel that he's underappreciated and has toiled in relative obscurity.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
not only a great portrait of an exceptional rider, but also a very comprehensive overview of the Tour de France's history, as well as a guide for understanding a lot of what happens on the bike and inside a race peloton. Rendell is a very powerful storyteller. another great cycling book to be read many times over the years.
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