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Sky's The Limit By Richard Moore

Release date: 07th June, 2012
Publisher: Harper Sport

List Price: 8.99
Our Price: 5.99
You Save: 3 (33%)
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On 30th June, as football's European Championship reaches its denouement, so the world's largest live sporting event will begin in Belgium.

Over the ensuing three weeks, between 4-5 million people will gather and cheer by country roadsides, atop mountains and 10-deep in towns and villages to catch a glimpse of the Tour de France. For the first time, a British team and its two principal riders, Bradley Wiggins and Mark Cavendish, have a genuine opportunity to dominate the race; on current form, Wiggins could win it.

Though he was permitted unprecedented access to riders, sporting directors and managers, Richard Moore makes clear that his account of Team Sky's Tour de France debut in 2010 is not an 'authorised' or 'official' version. Accordingly, this is a warts-and-all account, written without even a hint of PR machine control. Shorn of any 'fluff', it makes for an engrossing read.

The book's sub-title: British Cycling's Quest to Conquer the Tour de France confirms the purpose of Sky's project. Effectively, this was to extend the same principles which had resulted in the British Cycling Academy producing world class track-based talent and apply them to road racing.

However, it was unlikely that any team, even one as well funded as Sky, would get it right first time; they didn't.

Moore documents the introduction of new coaching methods at training camps, the process of rider selection and the attention to detail which creates the all-important marginal gains. Yet this was a far from straight forward process and there are arguments, controversy and, ultimately, departures.

But it's Le Tour that takes centre stage. Two years ago, the burden of trying to produce a clean British Tour winner within five years of being created eventually told on Team Sky. Moore details the disappointment everyone felt when it became clear they would be unable to fulfil their objective, although as we approach the 2012 Tour, Bradley Wiggins amongst the favourites to win it.

Sky's the Limit, published in paperback next week (21st June) is a well written, well structured, recommended read. And, if England fail to win the Euros, it's possible Wiggins, an Englishman, could win one major European sporting event this year. Should he do so, the foundations of how he did it are detailed here.


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