Legends of the Tour: The hottest, toughest and fastest riders of this decade (Hardie Grant 2015)
Thanks to my seven months living in Sydney and the contacts I build up while covering the Tour Down Under in 2012, I was asked to contribute two chapters for this publication ahead of the 2015 Tour de France.
According to the book bumf, Legends of the Tour is a dynamic, insightful and affectionate portrait of the Tour de France, the world's most famous cycling race. A selection of international cycling writers share their views on different aspects of the tour, including the race courses, famous rivalries, and its crop of great riders from the brilliant climbers of today to the young, up-and coming athletes, as well as legendary riders and those recently retired from their beloved sport.
Packed with informative details and thoughtful observations, alongside lavish full-colour photography and portraits, Legends of the Tour is a landmark volume, essential for all Tour de France fans.
My chapters were on the five Best Climbers and Domestiques in the Tour peloton over the past 10 years. Such was the fierce criteria for selection - no duplications were allowed – I could not include the likes of Chris Froome and Alberto Contador in my list of best climbers because of their presence in the Best GC Riders, while Nairo Quintana was a no-go because he fell into the Best Young Riders category.
To that end, I chose the following riders in the Best Climbers category: Alejandro Valverde, Pierre Rolland, Samuel Sanchez, Christophe Riblon and Jurgen van den Broeck. For my five Best Domestiques I chose Manuel Quinziato, Sergio Paulinho, Ramunas Navardauskas, Lars Bak and Koen de Kort.
The best part of the project (besides being paid, of course) was the fact that I became published in a book whose foreword was penned by Phil Liggett - the man whose commentary back in those halcyon days of Channel 4's Tour coverage got me into cycling in the first place.