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."
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.