Friday, 30 January 2015

Project Rainbow - Rod Ellingworth

This book is presented as a "how we won the World Championship Road Race" but that's only half the tale, if that. It tells you of Rod Ellingworth's involvement in the British Cycling Academy as well as his involvement with Team Sky. It is fascinating while not a great read which may sound a bit odd. It seems like Rod has written this himself and, while I'm sure he had guidance, he's not going to go on to a successful writing career. However he is honest, surprisingly at times as he tells the reader what he's good at and what he's not. He is also complimentary to people who potentially could be stealing his limelight. He also doesn't pull his punches on what he doesn't agree with although he is at least tactful in doing it.

To hear how he/they set up the academy and his dedication to the project really shows why it was successful and maybe points to why not as many good riders are coming through now he is no longer involved. The discipline he instilled and the insistence of increasing the amount of hours the riders spent on the bike clearly worked. I did feel sorry for his wife though.

The world championship itself didn't sound as tough a job, he needed to get all the riders pulling in the same direction and riding for one man, Cav. Now I realise that is easier said than done but compared to what he achieved by bringing through top professional cyclists ready for the road I don't think it compares.

This book is an insight that I haven't got from anywhere else, including Cav's autobiography and I think is a must for any keen fan of British Cycling - just don't expect it to be a page turner...

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