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The Monuments: The Grit and the Glory of Cycling’s Greatest One-day Races

3.65  ·  Rating details ·  244 ratings  ·  13 reviews
The Tour de France may provide the most obvious fame and glory, but it is cycling's one-day tests that the professional riders really prize. Toughest, longest and dirtiest of all are the so-called "Monuments", the five legendary races that are the sport's equivalent of golf's majors or the grand slams in tennis. Milan–Sanremo, the Tour of Flanders, Paris­–Roubaix, Liège–Ba ...more
Paperback, 416 pages
Published September 16th 2014 by Bloomsbury Sport (first published March 13th 2014)
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Dan Cohen
Aug 19, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: sport
This is not a bad book, but it suffers from a lack of focus. Just account after account after account, as a large number of riders and their exploits are introduced and superseded by the next. This makes the book a sea of details and I can't imagine remembering more than a tiny fraction of the contents of the book in a few weeks.

The structure of the book - covering each of the 5 monuments from their origin to the present day, before going back in time to the origin of the next monument, etc - is
Jan 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book focuses on the five biggest one day races in cycling. These are in order of the book - Liege - Bastogne - Liege, Paris-Roubaix, Tour of Lombardy, Milan - Sanremo and Tour of Flanders. In cycling hierarchy, it goes basically the 3 grand tours then the 5 monuments (though it also depends on the riders) and then the rest really depends on where the riders are from on a seasons objectives. Of course other races are briefly mentioned but in context of the riders (Tou de France is in the in ...more
Mar 30, 2018 rated it it was ok
The art of writing is to paint pictures with words. The Monuments should provide a rich seam of inspiration for that - the history, the suffering, the exploits. Yet it is all lost in a sea of turgid detail. Seemingly every addition of each race is covered with a review of one sentence or one page. Almost no space is given over to what each race is really like. As you bounce from one set of facts to the next, you find yourself in the bizarre position of forgetting it as you are actually reading i ...more
Mar 01, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was a good read and well detailed on the early history of the Monument races. I wish it discussed a bit more about some of the more recent rivalries, but then the book would be twice as long. This is definitely a book for people that are really into cycling. Not much 'story' there for the casual reader. But, if you like the Spring Classics and one-day racing, this is full of history.
Kike Rojas
Aug 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020
Great reading material if you're into cycling. Knowing the history behind these five races and those whose exploits who made them great is just fascinating. Still, be warned that there are lots of names, many of which you surely have never heard before, so you might need to pay close attention.
Jun 26, 2018 rated it it was ok
A long slog - much like the monuments it talks of!
Apr 13, 2019 rated it liked it
Interesting 🔥
May 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I thought I had reviewed this book already, but obviously not.

Do you like cycling? Yes. Read this book.
Do you enjoy watching cycling? Yes. Read this book.
Do you enjoy reading books about sport? Yes. Read this book.

If you do not enjoy cycling, it really doesn't matter so much because this book is about a series of races that are called monuments, one day races. Their history and previous riders comments etc. It is pretty packed full of information, and really makes the reader appreciate how blood
Martin Mccann
Jan 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
Generally a good summary of the history of the greatest Classics though it does seem a bit rushed towards the end. There are a few errors that mean the editing may not have been as thorough as it could have been but this does not detract too much from the overall usefulness of the book. There are few revelations, particularly for anyone with a passing knowledge of the races and their traditions but for those just getting into the sport then it will be a solid reference.
May 22, 2014 rated it liked it
It's fairly detailed. Probably too detailed for me, but provided a great description of these one day classics - and had some great stories. However, as an Australian, annoyed that it doesn't mention Stuart O'Grady, and it kept mentioning places in the Paris-Roubaix that we're on the map, which bugged me.
Jan 15, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: cycling, non-fiction
A little too encyclopedic for me, the history of these great races is very thorough. I really enjoyed the early days of each and the sometimes political origins of these famous races.
Jul 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
Good overview of cycling's monuments. Nice to read about the history of each race
Mar 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Really enjoyed this book, and it's the perfect time of year to read it!
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