I’ve just read On Tour by Bradley Wiggins with photos by Scott Mitchell.
The book tells the story of Wiggins’ 2010 Tour de France riding for Team Sky. The race didn’t go as Wiggins hoped and he’s honest in his assessment of his performance. A lot of the text seems to be based on notes taken at the time and this rawness makes for great reading (I read it at a single sitting). There are some more reflective pieces on fellow riders and team helpers that are interesting as well.
It’s fun trying to read between the lines. Wiggins is good at taking responsibility for his own performance, but there were obviously issues with how the team prepared for the race and how sometimes their famous seriousness and focus worked against the riders’ interests. I’m looking forward to seeing how (if) Team Sky 2.0 change their approach this year. It will be great to see Wiggins duke-ing it out with Schleck and co. in July.
The black and white photographs by Scott Mitchell offer a great sidelight on Wiggins’ writing. I’m looking forward to going back to the book to look at them more carefully (you can see many of them here). Mitchell is not normally a cycling photographer – Wiggins approached him because he shared an interest in mod culture. He often has a different angle on classic cycling situations. There is a great new generation of cycling photographers coming through at the moment – it’d be great to see Mitchell being part of that.
PS: The use of monochrome took me back to the photographs of my early days in cycling. The pictures of people like Bernard Thompson. Amazingly you can buy a CD of 100s of Thompson’s pictures from Rouleur – source of much of the new photography – here for only a tenner.