Cavendish, Mark. Boy Racer. Boulder, Colorado : Velo Press, 2010. 1-288. Print.
Mark Cavendish Boy Racer
Written by: Mark Cavendish
Reviewed by: Mathew Ly
Recommended Audience: High School and above
Mark Cavendish: Boy Racer is a terrific look inside the world of professional cycling and what it’s like to be one of the sport’s biggest stars. Smartly organized in alternating sections that move between racing accounts and a look at Mark Cavendish’s background and upbringing, the book keeps the colorful, bold statements that have made Cavendish both admired and despised among cycling professionals and fans, and a favorite among journalists everywhere for his tendency to give a good quote. Whether you like his opinions or not, there is no question that Cavendish will tell you what he thinks, and he does it here.
Boy Racer: Mark Cavendish – My Journey to Tour de France Record-Breakers is the story of Mark Cavendish’s rise to the top of the cycling world, peaking so far with his capture of six stages at the 2009 Tour de France. Written as an autobiography, the book uses a format that follows each day of the 2009 Tour de France and shows each stage as its own chapter.
The chapters, however, focus specifically on the action of the race only when something specifically interesting or significant for Cavendish happens. So there is some race action to be sure, exciting accounts of chases and team strategy for specific stages, but much of the time the sections detail Cavendish’s life and background as a cyclist and steps to the top of the professional world. This was a very smart approach to telling the story. Really, there are only so many ways you can describe a sprint finish, and the interesting segments involving Cavendish’s training, movement between teams, and interaction with famous and infamous characters in the world of professional cycling help keep the action moving.
For cycling fans with an intense passion and knowledge about the sport, this will be a very enjoyable book, just as it will for the casual reader or even someone who doesn’t know much about bike racing at all. From events of his interactions with the biggest names in professional cycling to details of life on the Isle of Man as one of the most famous athletes in the world, this book is one to get your hands on.
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