At the start of the 137-kilometre Tour de Mont Aigoual, Tim Krabbe glances up from his bike to assess the crowd of spectators. 'Non-racers,' he writes. 'The emptiness of those lives shocks me.' Immediate and gripping from the first page, we race with the author as he struggles up the hills and clings on during descents in the unforgiving French mountains. Originally published in 1978, The Rider is a modern-day classic that is recognised as one of the best books ever written about the sport. Brilliantly conceived and best read at a break-neck pace, it is a loving, imaginative and passionate tribute to the art of cycle racing.
A beautiful, quiet piece of work: unusual, plausible, moving and poignant Daily Telegraph, The Best Sports Books of All Time A classic. Like all the best sports writing, The Rider manages to convey the excitement, determination and skill of the competitors even to readers who have little or no knowledge of the sport London Review of Books He lays bare the athlete's peculiar mixture of arrogance and terror, viciousness and camaraderie, and the result is one of the more convincing love stories of recent memory New Yorker The Rider is a beautiful brute, as hard and fast as a thin wheel in a concrete road Observer Its 148 pages will flash by in a blur of reckless, high-speed pleasure Independent The Rider perfectly captures the grim satisfaction and endorphin-thrill that comes from riding a bike faster than you did the time before. It's also a reminder of the pure pleasure of reading -- Jon McGregor
Tim Krabbe is a chess as well as a cycling enthusiast and one of Holland's leading writers. His many books include the noir novels THE VANISHING and THE CAVE. He lives in Amsterdam. Sam Garrett, a former wire-service correspondent, is the translator of THE CAVE, also by Tim Krabbe, THE GATES OF DAMASCUS by Lieve Joris and SILENT EXTRAS by Arnon Grunberg.