REVIEW: BRADLEY WIGGINS BOOK

Anyone who has picked up Bradley Wiggins’ autobiography In Pursuit of Glory will know what to expect from the Team Sky rider’s latest account – a warts-and-all look back at the 2010 Tour de France.

Wiggins went into the race with the weight of a nation on his shoulders; billed as Great Britain’s greatest chance of earning a podium spot after his fourth place finish in 2009.

But fourth turned into 24th as Wiggins suffered over three gruelling weeks in what was Team Sky’s debut season – an ambitious experiment which turned heads in the peloton without the expected result come July.

On Tour is a brutally honest account of Wiggins’ ordeal – a refreshing take on the glory and heartbreak of the Tour and the fine line that divides them.

Wiggins set out to create a pictorial book to celebrate the Tour de France as the world’s greatest cycling race and the three-time Olympic track champion teamed up with photographer Scott Mitchell, who he only met for the first time at the Tour of Murcia in April.

Mitchell’s photographs accompany Wiggins’ text and, all in black-and-white, provide a stunning, atmospheric backdrop – from the pave of northern France to the wild peaks of the Pyrenees, the suit-and-booted Wiggins to his contorted, pain-ridden body come Paris.

The images, while superb on first-sight, grow with each look as you go back to take them in fully without the urge to read on through the book, with the text in itself not taking long to charge through.

Wiggins guides the reader stage-by-stage through his Tour, pulling no punches as he admits to over thinking Team Sky’s strategy in the Prologue, and explaining the mystery which fell upon the camp when the 30-year-old’s form deserted him as soon as the roads titled up into the Alps.

But what makes the text jump out is Wiggins’ look at the wider aspects of the Tour de France and life in the peloton.

A series of mini-essays wind their way through the diary, covering subjects as diverse as Lance Armstrong to the unsung heroes of the peloton. A real insight, On Tour is sure to strike a chord with any cycling fan and is the perfect addition to any coffee table.

On Tour - Bradley Wiggins £14.9