Santa was very generous this year, and managed to fit 2 new books into my Christmas Stocking.

Mountains According to G by Geraint Thomas and Tour De Force by Mark Cavendish.

Mountains According to G was published in 2020 and is an “inside guide to twenty-five of the greatest cycling climbs in the world.”

The book blurb goes on to say; “From Grand Tour set pieces to secret gems, ride with G as he uses data from his own races and memories from his greatest triumphs – plus a few setbacks – to give a unique look into the techniques, the challenges and the thrills of cycling’s greatest climbs.”

If you enjoy climbing on your bike, this is a book well worth adding to your collection.

Starting with 3 climbs in the UK – Rhigios, The Tumble and the frightening Cat and Fiddle, continuing via Old Willunga Hill in Australia and a portrait of the Australian rider Richie Porte, and finishing with the 21-hairpin bends of the Alpe d’Huez in France.

G writes in an easy down to earth manner, giving all sorts of intimate details of some of the quirks and strange things that inhabit these climbs.

There is even a countdown of G’s Top Ten Climbers from the ranks of the Pro cyclists.

This list could be debated forever, starting at No10 with Cadel Evans, and finishing with the No1 spot given over to Chris Froome.

Whether you agree or disagree, it is a book well with adding to your collection.

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Tour De Force, is a brand-new book, only published in December 2021. It is very much the personal account of Mark Cavendish’s astonishing success at the 2021 Tour de France.

Or as he subtitles the book – “My history-making Tour de France”

“Deep down Mark Cavendish thought he was finished. After illness, setbacks and clinical depression, the once fastest man in the world had been written off by most. And at the age of 35, even he believed his explosive cycling career would fade out with a whimper. The Manxman hadn’t won a single Grand Tour stage in Italy, Spain or France since 2016.

But then came his incredible resurrection at the 2021 Tour de France. Included in the Deceuninck-QuickStep team at the very last minute, Mark set about rewriting history.

He claimed back the Green Jersey he first wore in 2011, and his four stage victories finally saw him matching Belgian Eddy Merckx’s all-time record of 34 Tour de France stage wins.

Cycling greats are never content, and Cav’s dogged determination and inner strength had earned him the record that few believed he could ever achieve.

This is his own, intimate account of that race, right from the saddle of the miracle tour.”

It is a very emotionally charged account of the time leading up to the Tour de France, and a day by day, almost pedal stroke by pedal stroke, account of each days racing.

It is a personal story, one that resonates with the daily emotion of attempting to have a wheel in front of some of this generation’s greatest cyclists.

A book that is well worth sitting down with on a Sunday afternoon and enjoying times past and thinking about, what might, just, happen at the 2022 Tour de France.

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