'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.