Graham Healy is a keen cyclist and author from Dublin, Ireland. He is the author of a biography of the Irish cyclist, "Shay Elliott: The Life and Death of Ireland’s First Yellow Jersey," and also "The Curse of the Rainbow Jersey: Cycling’s Most Infamous Superstition."
For 11 years I was a professional cyclist, competing in the hardest and greatest races on Earth. I was in demand from the world’s best teams, a well-paid elite athlete. But I never won a race. I was the hired help.
When my mum dropped me off in a small French town aged 17, I was full of determination to be a professional cyclist, but I was completely green. I went from mowing the team manager’s lawn to winning every amateur race I entered. Then I turned pro and realised I hated the responsibility and pressure of chasing victory. And that’s when I became a domestique.
I learned to take that hurt and give it everything I had to give, all for someone else’s win. When the order came in to ride I pushed out with the hardest rhythm I could, dragging the group faster and faster, until my whole body screamed with pain. There were times I rode myself to a standstill, clutching the barrier metres from the line, as the lead group shot past. But that’s what made me a so good at my job.
As my career took off, I started looking at the fans lining the route, cheering us like heroes. The passion for cycling oozed off them, but they couldn’t know what it was really like. They didn’t see the terrible hotels, the crazy egos or all the shit that goes with great expectations. Well, this is how it is...
Taking a double Yellow Jersey was a staggering achievement. This memoir shows just how remarkable it was, given the uphill struggle Froome faced. Growing up in Kenya, biking down mile after mile of dusty road, and staying in a humble tin hut, he developed a fierce passion and determination to win.
The road to Europe was long, gruelling and filled with setbacks - but it prepared him for teamwork as a domestique and then the leap to leader of Team Sky and a shot at winning the Tour de France. In The Climb, written with the renowned investigative reporter David Walsh, he vividly recounts the struggles, the rivalries, the battles, the comebacks. Finally he traces his path to triumph and his mission to help clean up cycling.
Inspiring and exhilarating, it will leave you ready to face your own challenges in life, whatever they may be.
'Engaging, vividly evoked' Mail on Sunday, Books of the Year
'What Chris has done is phenomenal' Sir Chris Hoy