I just noticed that The Rider has gotten some renewed interest because of the Tour coming close to its fictional (or is it…?) race. Hence the reblog of a 6-year old book review.
I’ve just finished reading The Rider, by Tim Krabbé, for the 4th time and thought I should finally write something about it. This classic novel is – if reading frequency is any indication – my favorite cycling book. It is the story of a Dutch man, racing at the amateur level in Le Sud (actually, just up the road, so possibly another reason I am so attached).
The ‘rider’ is taking part in a fictitious local race called the Tour de Mont Aigoual and, in fact, the race takes up nearly the entire book. Interspersed liberally between climbs, sprints and descents are memories of his ‘sporting career’ (reminiscences of his childhood, plus lots of flashbacks to previous races – which he has studiously numbered) and stories of the cycling greats of the time. The reason I keep coming back to The Rider, though, is the reason we read anything more than…
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