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First published in 1990, Rough Ride is one of the greatest books ever written about the life of a professional athlete. Almost twenty years later, Yellow Jersey is publishing an updated edition of this cycling classic, with a new foreword by the author which reflects on his life both inside and outside the sport.
Paul Kimmage's boyhood dreams were of cycling glory: wearing the yellow jersey, cycling the Tour de France, becoming a national hero. He knew it wouldn't come easy, but he was prepared to put in the graft: he spent his teenage years cycling an average of 400 miles per week.
The dedication began to pay off. As an amateur, he represented his country and finished sixth in the World Championships. In 1986 he turned professional. That's when reality hit. He soon discovered it wasn't about glory and courage, and it wasn't about how much training you put in or how much you wanted to win. It was about gruelling defeats, complete and utter exhaustion, and it was about drugs. Not drugs that would ensure victory, but drugs that would allow you to finish the race and start another day.
Paul Kimmage left the sport to write this book. It is a powerful and frank account that breaks the law of silence surrounding the issue of drugs in sport. An eye-opening expose and a heartbreaking lament, it is a book that anyone interested in any sport should read.
- Random House, June 2009
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