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I enjoy cycling books and listening to this book from Cadel Evans is essential for anyone wanting the full picture of the sport over the early 2000s. The book reviews Evans’ entire career in fairly short order so there are lots of short reviews of different races. At times it is almost like listening to someone read out a long list of achievements (of which there are many). It can be a bit repetitive.
Hearing about cycling from Evans’ perspective is interesting because he took a very strong anti-doping stance in an era when many have since admitted to doping.
Where the book is a bit disappointing for me is the lack of emotional insight into Evans. He is clearly a very private person and this comes across. There are things happening that you would think would cause great emotion - like being beaten in a race by a known / suspected doper. Evans doesn’t come across as having any great fury for that - perhaps it is best that way!
Evans spends a lot of time discussing his various teams. It is interesting to hear how different teams are structured in different ways. There are some stories that beggar belief, for example the team not letting him use decent time trial wheels at the TDF where he came second by only a few seconds - the implication being if he had better wheels he might have won.
Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?
Learned a lot about Cadel. He's able to explain so much. He was able to explain so much of the truth behind all the press coverage and stories during his racing. Thanks Cadel for writing it.
What does Alan King bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?
He has the Australian accent. I feel like Cadel's talking to me.
Would you consider the audio edition of The Art of Cycling to be better than the print version?
Sure, it's long, but I didn't find it tediously long at all. The length gives Evans the opportunity to tell the story of his professional riding career in detail. Without that detail, I do not think the book would be nearly as good. Do you have to be a cyclist or cycling fan to enjoy this book? Probably. It IS, after all, a book about cycling (and a very detailed one at that!). But the book itself is pretty great. It's not a work of timeless literature. There are times when the writing is a bit cliche.But it is certainly well written, and Evans comes across as a thoughtful, sincere person with a true passion for his profession. He is also very fair to the many other cyclists (and non-cyclists) that we writes about in the book. There are no grudges, there is no defamation, yet he is candid and honest about his feelings toward and about others. I really learned a lot about professional cycling, also, which was a nice bonus. And, of course, the sections about the races themselves are fabulous.Highly recommended for cycling fans! Thanks, Cadel!
What about Alan King’s performance did you like?