'It wasn't a race but a war game' Bernard Hinault 'Without question, the hardest one-day bike race ever created' George Hincapie Every April, up to a million fans line the streets of Flanders to watch one of cycling's most exciting and dangerous one-day races: the Ronde. Flanders is cycling's heartland, and the sport's followers there are among cycling's most knowledgeable. The race is characterised by a series of short, steep narrow climbs, often over slippery cobbles that can soon send the unwary cyclist tumbling. Despite the race's huge popularity, there is no proper English language book on the story of the Ronde, but here Pickering fills that void. He explains how the Ronde is inseparable from its landscape, and from the people who line the route. He not only provides a stunning, in-depth account of the race itself, but assesses its history and how it has come to form such a vital part of Flemish identity. He will also reveal why this is such a tough race to master, one that has been targeted by the seemingly all-conquering Team Sky, but yet still remains beyond their reach. This is a book about cycling in its purest, most compelling form.
Ed Pickering is one of the UK's leading cycling writers, having written for a range of publications from Cycling Weekly to the New York Times and Loaded. He is the author of the critically acclaimed The Race Against Time and The Yellow Jersey Club, and the editor of Procycling magazine.