Here's a quick cycling trivia question concerning two people who have been very much in the news of late - what have Paul Kimmage's Rough Ride and Lance Armstrong's It's Not About The Bike; My Journey Back To Life got in common?
The answer is, they're both past winners of the William Hill Sports Book of the Year award, in 1990 and 2000 respectively; in fact they're the only cycling titles to have won the coveted award, but there are two more on the long list for this year's prize, announced today.
Those are Victoria Pendleton's Between the Lines – The Autobiography, written together with Donald McRae, plus the work by Tyler Hamilton and Daniel Coyle, The Secret Race – Inside the Hidden World of the Tour de France: Doping, Cover-ups, and Winning at All Costs, which gives a rather different account of Lance Armstrong's time at US Postal than his own book, co-written with Sally Jenkins, ever did.
You could argue there are actually two and two thirds bike-related books on this year's longlist given there are two triathlon-related titles as well - Matt Fitzgerald's Iron War – Dave Scott, Mark Allen & the Greatest Race Ever Run, and A Life Without Limits – A World Champion’s Journey, by Chrissie Wellington, with Michael Aylwin.
The shortlist for the prize, worth £24,000 to the author plus a free £2,000 bet with William Hill, will be announced on 26 October, with the winner revealed at Waterstone's Piccadilly on 26 November.
William Hill spokesman Graeme Sharpe said: “2012 was a memorable sporting year thanks to the Olympics and the Paralympics, the Ryder Cup and the US Open to name but a few of the highlights, and it is a year which has also produced a strong crop of memorable sporting books. It has been difficult enough to narrow the contenders down to a manageable longlist of fourteen titles, and with sports like squash, swimming and Ironman racing represented for the first time, this is the most diverse longlist we have yet seen.”
The judging panel comprises broadcaster John Inverdale and Danny Kelly, PFA chairman Clarke Carlisle, journalists Hugh McIlvanney and Alyson Rudd, and is chaired by John Gaustad, who founded the Sportspages bookshop.
The full longlist is:
That Near-Death Thing – Inside the TT : The World’s Most Dangerous Race
by Rick Broadbent (Orion)
Running with the Kenyans – Discovering The Secrets of the Fastest People on Earth
by Adharanand Finn (Faber)
Iron War – Dave Scott, Mark Allen & the Greatest Race Ever Run
by Matt Fitzgerald (Quercus Press)
The Footballer Who Could Fly
by Duncan Hamilton (Century)
The Secret Race – Inside the Hidden World of the Tour de France: Doping, Cover-ups, and Winning at All Costs
by Tyler Hamilton and Daniel Coyle (Bantam Press)
A Weight Off My Mind – My Autobiography
by Richard Hughes, with Lee Mottershead (Racing Post)
Be Careful What You Wish For
by Simon Jordan (Yellow Jersey)
Fibber in the Heat
by Miles Jupp (Ebury Press)
The Dirtiest Race in History – Ben Johnson, Carl Lewis and the 1988 Olympic 100m Final
by Richard Moore (Wisden Sports Writing)
Between the Lines – The Autobiography
by Victoria Pendleton, with Donald McRae (HarperSport)
by Leanne Shapton (Particular Books)
A Life Without Limits – A World Champion’s Journey
by Chrissie Wellington, with Michael Aylwin (Constable & Robinson)
Jonny: My Autobiography
by Jonny Wilkinson, with Owen Slot (Headline)
Shot and a Ghost: A Year in the Brutal World of Professional Squash
by James Willstrop (Rod Gilmour)
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.