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Anquetil, Alone

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Translator: Nick Caistor
Imprint: Pursuit Books
Pages: 144
Subject: Biography & Memoir, Travel & Nature

Anquetil, Alone

Paul Fournel

The legend of Jacques Anquetil, controversial French cycling star of the 60s, told through the eyes of novelist and childhood Anquetil fan Paul Fournel

Hardback(Preorder only)
9781781257319 (Published 7 Sep 2017)

About the book

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 Vélo (or Need for the Bike)- blends the story of Anquetil's life with scenes from his own, to create a classic of cycling literature.

About the author

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


A wonderful little book about a great man

- Tim Krabbé, 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

Additional Information

Translator: Nick Caistor
Imprint: Pursuit Books
Pages: 144
Subject: Biography & Memoir, Travel & Nature

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