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Tom Simpson: Bird on the Wire wins William Hill Sports Book of the Year

Andy McGrath's book about British great who died 50 years ago is only the fourth cycling title to win the coveted award...

Andy McGrath's Tom Simpson: Bird on the Wire has won the 2017 William Hill Sports Book of the Year. The lavishly illustrated book was published earlier this year, the 50th anniversary of Simpson's death on Mont Ventoux during the 1967 Tour de France.

The lavishly illustrated, 200-page book is published by Rapha Editions and produced by Bluetrain Publishing, with contributions from family and friends of arguably the greatest all-round cyclist Great Britain has produced, aims to tell the full story of his life.

McGrath, editor of Rouleur magazine, was presented with the award at a ceremony at BAFTA in London today.

He said:  “Simpson’s death, with drugs found in his system, is inextricably, yet excessively, linked to him. Those dark connotations have grown over the rest of his life’s story like ivy over a beautiful building,” 

It's only the fourth book related to cycling to have won the prestigious award, launched in 1989, and the first of those that hasn't had a professional cyclist as author or co-writer.

The three others were Paul Kimmage's Rough Ride in 1990, It's Not About The Bike, co-written by Lance Armstrong and Sally Jenkins, which won in 2000, and Tyler Hamilton and Daniel Coyle's The Secret Race, the winner in 2012.

George Hill gave the book 9 out of 10 in his review for road.cc in September, describing it as an "excellent coffee table book that really manages to bring out Tom Simpson's personality."

> Review: Tom Simpson: Bird On The Wire

Simon joined road.cc as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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