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Pursuit Books

Pursuit Books is the new cycling imprint from Profile. Our aim is to publish original writing on cycling; beautiful books with lasting appeal.

Real cycling books get to the heart of our sport and deepen our own love of it. Here are our first three, coming out in Spring 2017.

Visit our blog for updates on the world of cycling and our books: pursuitbooks.wordpress.com

Medal Factory

The Medal Factory by Kenny Pryde

5th July 2018, Hardback, £16.99, ISBN 9781781259856

An investigation into the phenomenally successful British Cycling; how did it become so successful, and at what cost?

In the 1990s the UK was as significant in the cycling world as it was in the bobsled world. Cycling was a continental sport, done only by eccentrics in the UK. The sport's governing body was a handful of old eccentrics. It was a shambles.

But by 2008 Team GB, boosted by massive lottery funding and a hungry new generation of leaders, dominated Olympic cycling totally, winning eight out of ten gold medals on the track in Beijing. Soon, Team Sky, a British road racing squad with roots in that Olympic programme, would dominate the Tour de France. 

But now disaster looms. Allegations of sexism, bullying and complicity with drug taking threaten the reputation and the funding of British Cycling, the governing body. 

Peter Keen and Chris Boardman, followed by Dave Brailsford, Steve Peters and Shane Sutton created a new blueprint for performance. Does it represent a two-wheeled 'Moneyball', with lessons other organisations can learn from? Or was the stellar success of British Cycling down to a like-minded visionary group who got lucky with lottery funding? Is theirs a healthy culture, or has the will to win led to poor ethics and unfairness?

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Anquetil, Alone by Paul Fournel

7th September 2017, Hardback, £10.99, ISBN 9781781257319

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

Jacques Anquetil was arrogant and iconoclastic, with a relaxed attitude to rules - including those about drugs - and morals. His womanising appalled conservative French society, even as his five Tour de France wins enthralled it. But Paul Fournel always preferred him to his great rival, working-class hero Raymond Poulidor, and followed Anquetil's career from childhood with the passion of a fan and the eye of a poet.

In this stunningly original biography of a complex and divisive character, Fournel blends elements of memoir and imagined autobiography to tell the captivating story of this cycling legend.

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HardmenThe Hardmen: Legends of the Cycling Gods by The Velominati

1 June 2017, Hardback, £12.99, ISBN 9781781256121

Stories of the toughest cyclists of all time, told by The Velominati, originators of The Rules

In cycling, suffering brings glory: a rider's value can be judged by their results, but also by their panache and heroism. Hear about Chris Froome riding on at the Tour de France with a broken wrist and Geraint Thomas finishing it with a broken pelvis, and you'll never look at a premier-league footballer's diving theatrics the same way again. 

In The Hardmen, the writers behind cycling superblog Velominati.com, will tell the stories and illuminate the myths of not just the greatest cyclists ever, but the toughest. From Eddy Merckx to Beryl Burton, and from Marianne Vos to Edwig Van Hooydonk, the book will lay bare the secrets of their extraordinary and inspirational endurance in the face of pain, danger and disaster. 

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Giro d'italiaGiro d'Italia by Colin O'Brien

13 April 2017, Hardback, £20, ISBN 9781781257166

The full, rich story of the legendary Giro d'Italia, published to celebrate its 100th edition

The story of the Giro d'Italia, more demanding and unpredictable even than the Tour de France, is as dramatic and characterful as that of Italy itself. Heroism, suffering, feuds and betrayals, tradition under threat from modernity, all play out against a landscape of extremes.

First contested in 1909 and then every year since, interrupted only by the First World War, the Giro began as an ordeal, with 400 km stages, night time starts and fixed geared bicycles on rough tracks. In the postwar period it was animated by the near-miraculous deeds of 'Il Campionissimo', Fausto Coppi, his feud with Gino Bartali and his scandalous lifestyle. In more recent times the story of the spectacularly gifted yet self-destructive Marco Pantani has been described as 'perhaps the greatest cycling story ever told'.

The Giro has given birth to many of the most potent myths in cycling; Giro d'Italia tells these stories and brings to life their iconic protagonists. In doing so, it also shows how much the legend of the Giro reveals of Italian society and its many contradictions.

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Contact: James@pursuitbooks.com

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