Rainbows in the Mud

In Rainbows in the Mud, Paul Maunder spends a season soaking up the sport's rich culture and history, and mixing with the obsessive fans, celebrity riders, and old-fashioned patriarchs of the sport.

Rainbows in the Mud

Cyclocross is no longer cycling's hidden gem. Its rapid growth in the USA and UK means this intense and dramatic sport is exploding into the mainstream. With a season running from September to February, cyclocross is cycling's only purely winter discipline, demanding a combination of athleticism, supreme technical skill and ruthless tactics for the muddy conditions. In the sport's heartland of Belgium, major races attract crowds of thousands and have a carnival atmosphere fuelled by heavy drinking, ringing cowbells and pumping airhorns. Many top riders have enthusiastic fanclubs and are national celebrities – one even had his own reality TV show. On race day, Belgian and Dutch television coverage is akin to a major football match in the UK, stretching for hours with prerace interviews, pundits and behind-the-scenes films. In Rainbows in the Mud, Paul Maunder spends a season soaking up the sport's rich culture and history, and mixing with the obsessive fans, celebrity riders, and old-fashioned patriarchs of the sport. Following the riders – novices, veterans, American, British – as they slog their way through the season, he captures the spirit of this flamboyant cult sport, and paints a picture so vibrant you can almost feel the mud under your feet and taste the beer, mulled wine and frites.

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Authors: Paul Maunder
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Type: BOOK - Published: 2017-08-10 - Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing

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