“Climbers: How the Kings of the Mountains Conquered Cycling” by Peter Cossins is a remarkable delve into the challenging and awe-inspiring world of mountain cycling. Through meticulous explorations, the author unveils the psyche and the undying resolve of cyclists who dare to conquer the toughest terrains cycling has to offer.
The narrative is enriched with a nostalgic recount of a moment during the 1998 Tour de France. When asked about his swift pace up the Pyrenees, the effervescent Marco Pantani, recognizable by his bandanna and hooped earrings, had quipped, “To shorten my agony”. This witty retort encapsulates the essence of mountain cycling — a relentless chase against gravity and self-doubt.
The book is described as “captivating and iconic,” portraying the ultimate embodiment of what it takes, both physically and mentally, to tackle the sport’s most demanding stages. Through the lens of fervor for the sport, Cossins meticulously examines what sets these mountain-climbing athletes apart within the realm of bike racing. The narrative celebrates the beauty of cycling, the cherished connection between the cyclists and the audience, and a profound understanding of self that these athletes attain through their extraordinary feats.
Spanning across 336 pages, the book is a dense but enthralling read published by Octopus Publishing Group. It’s not just a chronicle of grueling climbs and triumphant descents, but also a psychological exploration into what drives these athletes to push beyond the limits, making it a compelling read for both cycling aficionados and those new to the sport.
The author, Peter Cossins, takes the readers on a chronological journey through the evolution of mountain climbing in cycling, providing a deeper understanding and appreciation for this extreme facet of the sport.
For readers seeking to grasp the essence of mountain cycling and to be enthralled by the tales of those who dominate this domain, “Climbers: How the Kings of the Mountains Conquered Cycling” is a must-read.