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Book Review – The Climb

For anyone who doesn’t know, “The Climb” is Chris Froome’s autobiography
– or probably, to be more accurate, the first chapter as he’s likely to have
more to say as his career continues.

The obvious question, is it worth reading? I’d say yes, on several levels.
Firstly, he’s one of only two British Tour de France winners and the one
most likely to add to the Grand Tour tally for now. Secondly, he’s also the
first African winner. Thirdly, he has an interesting back story. Finally, it
completes the set of stories about THAT incident in the 2012 Tour de
France (and its aftermath) – at least until Dave Brailsford publishes his
autobiography! It’s not a heavy read either.

The early part of the book explains Froome’s early life, how he got into cycling
and how his early career developed. This hops about a bit and I found it a
bit irritating at times but it sets the scene for the later stages and is an
interesting contrast to our experiences of ploughing through British lanes,
fending off hypothermia and trying not to swallow bits of unidentifiable dead
animals spun up off the front wheel! (After all, how many of us have stolen
cute little bunny rabbits from an infants school on a regular basis to feed
out pet pythons..? He doesn’t do that any more, but I bet the other riders
in the peloton who are aware of the story are probably more careful not to
wind him up now… J ) Froome was advised and trained initially by David
Kinjah, a Kenyan cyclist who had attracted the attention of an Italian
team and went over there to race. Unfortunately, having gone through the
training camp process, the team folded just before its first actual race!
Kinjah survived as long as he could on the Italian scene but eventually had
to return home. Froome’s description of the Kenyan team’s experience in
the Tour of Egypt stage race makes it pretty clear why riding for Team GB
was so attractive an option…

A Kenyan rider went back for some drinks but couldn’t find the team car.
At first the riders assumed the car had had to stop for some reason, but

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