Book review: Sky's the Limit

Published by Lyn on 28 June 2011

Sky's the Limit

** Note: We reviewed this before the 2012 Tour.

Richard Moore's Sky's the Limit might be the inside story of the formation of Team Sky, but it's not an authorised account, which makes it all the more believeble.

As with his most recent release, Slaying the Badger (see our extracts on Greg LeMond and his rivalry with Bernard Hinault), Moore gained enviable access to all the key players for Sky's the Limit. He spent months on the road and in training camps with Sky riders and management in the lead up to the 2010 Tour. As a result, he provides a thorough background to the Sky story – from the 2007 Tour (Bradley Wiggins' second Tour riding for Cofidis) through to the emergence of Mark Cavendish and Geraint Jones at the British cycling academy. Central to it all is British Cycling head honcho Dave Brailsford, who drove the development of the team from concept through to reality.

Moore lifts the lid on the tense early days when – months out from the 2010 Tour – the team was leaderless, with Wiggins still tied to Garmin and Cavendish re-signed for HTC-Columbia. Moore recounts the controversial poaching of Wiggins, and goes on to detail the team's apparent 'no-stone-left-unturned' preparations for the 2010 Tour. (The book makes interesting reading in the context of an interview Wiggins gave Cycle Sport Magazine in June 2011, when he said: "Last year [2010], nobody had an overview of everything.") 

It's bewildering stuff at times: the luxury of the team bus, the technology, the sports science, the trip to Roubaix with James Murdoch; Moore is there for the entire ride. And while the 2010 ride ended in a whimper, Moore will already have plenty of content for an updated 2011 version (Wiggins' win in the Critérium du Dauphiné and his British title win, where Sky riders filled the top four road race spots). The 2011 Tour will, as usual, cast its shadow over everything that has already come and gone; in a few weeks we'll know exactly how the 2011 Sky story ends.

Sky's the Limit: British Cycling's Quest to Conquer the Tour de France by Richard Moore is out now.

Moore is also the author of Slaying the Badger, In Search of Robert Millar and Heroes, Villains and Velodromes: Chris Hoy and Britain's Track Cycling Revolution.

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