Book Review: World's Ultimate Cycling Races

Review: World's Ultimate Cycling Races
by Ellis Bacon, including a foreward by Phil Liggett
Harper Collins RRP £20.00

Britain is now a nation of road cycling fanatics.  2012 was the year that cycling's World order shifted over the Channel as British cycling muscled its way into the virtual monopoly of the sport enjoyed by our continental cousins.

So now we all know our maillot à pois rouges from our petit pois it is perhaps time we broaden our knowledge a little further from the Tour de France. So it is rather fortuitous that a new book, World's Ultimate Cycling Races, has just been released, which provides a wonderful guide to the eclectic races that take place around the globe, throughout the year.

 Belgian Philippe Gilbert wins the cycling Classic, Liège–Bastogne–Liège, in 2011.

The book contains facts and statistics for novice to professional cyclists and for spectators who want to learn about the brilliant races. Crammed with photographs that illustrate the incredible and sometimes treacherous locations and scenery, the book offers a comprehensive history of the 300 events compiled by the writer and journalist,  Ellis Bacon.  Each event includes a map along with the field size, entry standard and terrain information, all arranged by the month the races take place. Add to this contributions from some of the World's leading cyclists and journalists and you have a  gripping account of what each race is really like.

The Grand Tours and the Classics are all of course documented, as well as some of the most famous and obscure races in the Pro calendar, yet the selection extends into the amateur cycling scene too, so the Fred Whitton Challenge held every May in the Lake District shares equal billing with the Giro d'Italia!  World's Ultimate Cycling Races is a varied compilation and serves to illustrate the huge spectrum of events that exist in the cycling world.

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