Anquetil, Alone

Anquetil, Alone : The legend of the controversial Tour de France champion

4.03 (78 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author)  , Translated by 

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Shortlisted for the Sports Book Awards 2018 for Biography of the Year and Cycling Book of the Year

There are things he does alone, and things that he alone does.

Jacques Anquetil was a cyclist with an aristocratic demeanor and a relaxed attitude to rules and morals. His womanising and frank admissions of doping appalled 1960s French society, even as his five Tour de France wins enthralled it.

Paul Fournel was besotted with him from the start ('Too young to understand, I was nevertheless old enough to admire') and followed Anquetil's career with the passion of a fan and the eye of a poet.

In this stunningly original biography of a complex and divisive character, Fournel - author of the seminal Velo (or Need for the Bike) - blends the story of Anquetil's life with scenes from his own, to create a classic of cycling literature.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 144 pages
  • 138 x 204 x 19mm | 264g
  • Pursuit
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Main
  • 1781257310
  • 9781781257319
  • 285,549

Review quote

A wonderful little book about a great man -- Tim Krabbe, author of The Rider At last the coolest of champions gets the biography he deserves -- Richard Williams If you don't know Fournel, then you're missing out, if you don't know Anquetil, then you don't know cycling. -- David Millar An unconventional take on a fascinating character. This is not your standard cycling biography - and all the better for it. -- Gary Imlach What a wonderful book Paul has written. It's is one of the most powerful cycling books I've ever read - certainly the best biography. -- Michael Hutchinson Evokes the mysticism which surrounded Jacques beautifully -- Herbie Sykes A magnificent book * Le Monde * A beautiful story * Le Figaro * A profound essay * Liberation * Praise for Velo:
Joyous. Destined to become a classic * * One of the loveliest pieces of writing about cycling * Cyclingtips * Praise for Need for the Bike
'Paul Fournel is the real deal. In his carefully cadenced prose poem...he shares a passion for the sport matched only by his love of language. * Bicycling * A fascinating mix of bicycling memories, observations, and experiences the author has gathered during a lifetime of cycling ... This very personal book, doled in short, easily digestible doses, packs a meal that ultimately satisfies deeply * ForeWord * With this little masterpiece, the coolest and most enigmatic of champions is given the biography he deserves. -- Richard Williams * Guardian * Very special. An excellent read. -- Phil Liggett A stunningly original look at the complex and controversial life of one of France's greatest ever pro-cyclists. * Bikes, etc. *
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About Paul Fournel

Paul Fournel is a French writer, poet, publisher and cultural ambassador. He was awarded the Prix Goncourt for short fiction for 'Les Athletes dans leur tete'. His Besoin de Velo (translated into English as Need for the Bike and Velo) is a classic cycling text, in which he describes himself as the Proust of the chute. Anquetil, Alone is translated by Nick Caistor.
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Rating details

78 ratings
4.03 out of 5 stars
5 33% (26)
4 44% (34)
3 18% (14)
2 4% (3)
1 1% (1)
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