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Book Review: "The Race"
By Staff
Date: 3/26/2009
Book Review: "The Race"

Book Review:  "The Race"
I would highly recommend the novel to the High school age group, it's an easy but very entertaining read that serves as a great introduction to cycling and the grand tours, whether you're an expert or a novice, you'll love it.

By Andrew Kappes

A few weeks ago, I experienced a "second Christmas" when The Race arrived in the mail, the novel by Dave Shields to read and review for the Daily Peloton. I can't tell you how long I've been meaning to pickup Dave Shield's two cycling novels, The Race and The Tour.

The story is set in France, following an young American on a French team, the fictional Banque Federale. Ben Barnes begins the story working for the team as a domestique; but quickly you see the book is so much more than this.

The reader quickly learns of Ben's past, which Shields carefully explains how Ben got to this moment. His trials and tribulations in life became mine. Every pedal stroke Ben took, I felt I took. This coming from a guy who doesn't actually ride or race. That's how good of an author Dave Shields is, he can take someone who has no idea what pain a cyclist goes through, and put the them in the saddle. Which in my case, is much safer than actually riding.

The novel is littered with cycling lingo and jargon, but don't think you have to know every detail of professional cycling or a grand tour to read. It's carefully explained in detail, putting you in the heart of the European peloton at the tour.

I've followed ten Tour de France races on TV, but discovered what it really means to the French, and the cycling world, in this book. The journey through the Alps was simply breathtaking. You can easily tell Mr. Shields did his homework, traveling to the famed mountain ranges to see the spectacle for himself while writing the book. That experience certainly pays off in the book itself.

I cannot count myself lucky enough to have ridden a race; but reading this novel changes all of that.

After reading The Race, you will find yourself feeling like a Tour vet, ready for another race. It is hard to stay in your seat and not cheer on Ben Barnes through his struggles and triumphs at the Tour de France. I'll continue the journey with Dave Shield's sequel,  The Tour, and the journey continues now.

I would highly recommend this to the High school age group, it's an easy but very entertaining read that serves as a great intro to cycling and the grand tours, whether you're an expert or a novice, you'll love it.

Andrew Kappes has been a regular contributor and Saily Peloton  staff member since 2007. He also covers  a local minor league baseball team, and writes for his school paper.  Andrew will enter college in fall to major in Broadcasting and communication. He became a fan of cycling over ten years ago, and admits, " It's been a secret passion of mine to be a pro bike racer since seeing Lance race in 1999.. "

Dave Shields is the author of the bestselling and Benjamin Franklin Award Winning novel, The Race. His  best selling sequel The Tour, which received widespread praise for confronting doping issues in sports from the perspective of the a professional rider competing in the tour de France under pressure to win at any cost.

His latest book, Tour de Life,  a co- authored biography of Saul Raisin’s miraculous recovery from a  brain injury and coma. USA Book News named the bio: “the best sports biography of 2007.

Dave is often seen discussing cycling related topics on networks such as CNN, ESPN, and Fox News. You can  learn more about Dave Shields or purchase his cycling sequel, Saul Raisin Bio, and other novels by clicking here.

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