Ellis Bacon

Great British Cycling
  • Great British Cycling

  • In 1868, the first ever documented bicycle race was held in a Paris park, and to the locals' chagrin, was won by a Briton. Yet while cycling culture became ingrained in continental European culture, riders this side of the Channel were engaged in constant battles with the authorities to pursue their sport - road racing was in fact banned as early as 1890. Its rise in popularity over the past 150 years, and the many triumphs of British cyclists in that time, have therefore been phenomenal.

    Never before has the full story of the sport been documented in one book, and in Great British Cycling, Ellis Bacon guides you through the development of our bike racing world, from weekend outings to British riders being able to compete in, then finish and win stages of the Tour de France. It takes you from cycling clubs and iconic frame-builders to a post-war explosion in cycling participation inspired by the likes of Brian Robinson, Tommy Simpson, Barry Hoban and Beryl Burton, from huge crowds witnessing the Tour of Britain and other races up and down the land to the modern era of glorious success by the likes of Mark Cavendish, Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome.

    As the Tour de France returns to these shores for the fourth time, with Great Britain now firmly established at the top of the world of cycling, this is the ideal time for fans of the sport, both new and old, to explore its wonderful history.

Ellis Bacon has been writing about bike racing for a living since joining Procycling magazine as deputy editor in 2003. He has since written for a number of other cycling publications and websites, including Cycle Sport, Cyclist, cyclingnews.com and Cycling Weekly, as well as for The Times and the Observer. A keen linguist, he translated Bjarne Riis's autobiography, Riis: Stages of Light and Dark, from Danish into English, and he is also the co-editor, along with Lionel Birnie, of The Cycling Anthology series of books, published twice a year. Great British Cycling is his third book, following World's Ultimate Cycle Races and Mapping Le Tour.

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