Heroes, Villains and Velodromes: Chris Hoy and Britain's Track Cycling Revolution

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9780007304325: Heroes, Villains and Velodromes: Chris Hoy and Britain's Track Cycling Revolution

As the first Briton for 100 years to win three gold medals in one Olympic Games, Scottish track cyclist Chris Hoy has rewritten the record books. Critically acclaimed writer Richard Moore shadows Hoy throughout the current season – fully updated with events in Beijing – to provide an unprecedented insight into the secret world of track cycling.

Heroes, Villains and Velodromes reveals how an elite athlete, Chris Hoy, lives, breathes and pushes the boundaries of his sport. How does he do it? And why? What drives him to put his body through the physical and mental hurdles to become the best in the world? And what is it like to be Olympic champion, astonishingly in three different cycling disciplines?

This is also the story of an extraordinary year in the life of an extraordinary sportsman and his team, one which started with his best-ever world championships in Mallorca – where, for the first time in his career, Hoy became a double world champion – continued with his attempt on the world kilometre record in La Paz, Bolivia and two gold medals at the 2008 world championships in Manchester, before a glorious climax with seven golds for Hoy and the British track cycling team at the Beijing Olympics.

By shadowing Hoy through a season, author Richard Moore has gained an unembellished insight into the mind of a World and Olympic champion. He has also attained unprecedented levels of access to the key members of the all-conquering British team and support staff, including top coaches, world-renowned psychiatrists, doctors (where the subject of drug abuse is an ever-present shadow) and the pivotal characters behind the scenes.

Combining his forensic knowledge of the cycling world with his acclaimed skills as a tenacious investigative journalist, Moore captures the mood of the British team and explores an area of professional sport that has rarely been seen before.

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‘This is an absolutely must-read book…Moore has cleverly used the very cogent words of others to paint a picture of real characters within a new order’ Graham Obree, Scotsman

‘A cracking story…I couldn’t put it down’ Hugh Porter, BBC cycling commentator

‘Like its hero, this book is the real McHoy.’ Scotland on Sunday

‘An excellent book’. The Sunday Times

‘…an inspiring tale. And in Richard Moore it has a splendid chronicler.’ Independent on Sunday

‘This is a must-read book that tells a story that had to be told.’ The Scotsman

‘…a gripping inside story of how Team GB’s cyclists rode to glory.’
Independent on Sunday

From the Author:


This is the story of Chris Hoy, Olympic, world and Commonwealth champion - arguably Britain's greatest ever track cyclist - and the evolution of the world-beating team of which he is such an integral part.


That is a good question. Just how did Chris Hoy, who was first inspired to race bikes by the BMX `chase' scene in the film ET, go on to become one of the all-time greats?

One word: persistence.

Hoy tried everything: he raced BMX for years, then mountain bikes... then he dabbled in road racing and time trialling, while also playing rugby (captaining Edinburgh schools) and rowing (and winning a silver medal in the British schools' championship)... when he eventually tried track cycling, though it was obvious that this was the sport to which he was best suited, few would have predicted how good he would become...

Hoy was fortunate to emerge when he did. In 1997 British Cycling won the lottery. Like other sports, it received a cash windfall from the new National Lottery - but cycling arguably put it to better use than other sports, establishing a programme that would propel Britain's cyclists from zeros to heroes - from being the laughing stock of world cycling to the leading superpower.

By the 2008 world championships, in Manchester, Britain had become the world's top track cycling nation. And a key figure in this revolution has been Chris Hoy.

Heroes, Villains & Velodromes tells the story of Chris Hoy's years as a budding BMX-er, mountain biker and road cyclist... and his early career as a track cyclist.

It also tells the story of the British track cycling revolution - who was behind it, who is involved today and what makes them so good - including the secret development of cutting-edge equipment, the equipment `arms race' that goes on between teams, and the psychological warfare of international track cycling.

It is a story of sporting success, skulduggery, suspicions of systematic doping, psychiatry (the British team employ a clinical psychiatrist whose previous work was in a high security hospital)... and of heroes, villains and velodromes.

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Moore, Richard
ISBN 10: 0007304323 ISBN 13: 9780007304325
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(Wisbech, NFK, United Kingdom)

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