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VeloPress Spring Book List

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VeloPress, from the people who bring you VeloNews, is the nation's leading factory for biographical books on our favorite pasttime, as well as training guides. Since we're still deep into winter mode, I thought it'd be a good time to check out what they're up to for 2008. Following are some highlights from books due out this spring as well as recently released titles. As soon as I can obtain copies, I plan to write reviews... unless you guys beat me to it.

Having Jean-Marie LeBlanc writing the intro is a little ominous, and Alpe d'Huez has been mythologized to death, but thankfully this appears to be a history guide:

Cycling historian Jean-Paul Vespini tells the story of this celebrated climb and the mountain that so often acts as the ultimate arbiter for cycling's biggest prize. Each chapter covers one ascent, starting with Fausto Coppi's astonishing victory in 1952. Cycling's most famous names are all present and accounted for: Coppi, Eddy Merckx, Bernard Hinault, Pedro Delgado, Miguel Indurain, Marco Pantani, and of course the American victors Greg LeMond and Lance Armstrong.

A look at the bike racing culture. The promo sounds like it could go either way, though it's written by a Cyclist, so we can hope for the best.

Roadie addresses all of the curiosities that accompany the sport of cycling, from shaved legs to colorful jerseys and unbelievably expensive bicycles, shoes, and components. Every seemingly neurotic tendency is explained and celebrated with humorous illustrations from nationally syndicated cartoonist Jef Mallett (also rumored to log thousands of miles of riding per year).

Egads... not another Tour history? At least, that was my first reaction, until I saw that the author is Matt Rendell, who penned The Death of Marco Pantani. Rendell's style (as much as I can gather from one book) is exhaustive research and detail... a big plus in my book. The world is full of people (like me) who know just enough to talk sheit about anything, so it's refreshing to read an author who tries to pin down facts and is careful not to presume more than he really knows. The book is described as "a riotous tale of the inspiring and sometimes astonishing history of cycling's most famous race and its whimsical mishaps and astonishing feats." Something tells me that after sifting through Pantani's cocaine problems for months on end, he needed a change of pace. I'll definitely grab this one.

Very cool. When I was a junior I had no idea what was going on. Of course, I also didn't have a suitable bike, or any discernable talent, but if I had, neither I nor my parents would have had the first clue what to do about it. The book is doubly useful, since juniors aren't adults and shouldn't just pick up the latest Cyclist Training Bible. Nice to see something more tailored to their needs:

From nutritional requirements to strength and stamina limitations, Junior (under-18) and Espoir (under-23) athletes are significantly different from their adult counterparts. Authors Kristen Dieffenbach and Steve McCauley take into account all of the considerations of young cyclists with a thorough discussion of every aspect of training from skill building and weight training to psychological development, and injury treatment and prevention.

Also coming soon or maybe already on the shelf at your LBS:

  • Paris-Roubaix: Hammana hammana hammana... really, there's no way for the authors to make me not want this book.
  • Gracie Goat's Big Bike Race: For kids ages 5-8. In terms of importance, this might top my list. Mionske's book isn't going to help me get DS Little Bear hooked on the spring classics.

And many more...