Images and interviews seek to capture essence of those who ride in the world's greatest sport...

Nicely in time to be added to your Christmas wishlist, Rouleur has announced the forthcoming publication of the eagerly awaited book The Peloton by Berlin-based photographer Timm Kölln, which it describes as “a five-year labour of love” on the German snapper’s part.

Beginning in 2005, Kölln, a self-taught photographer who despite the inexorable march of digital has remained true to traditional film, his work focused on reportage and portraiture, has sought to capture the essence of the sport of pro cycling.

The German traveled to every major race throughout Europe, capturing the emotions of riders immediately after they cross the line. Rouleur describes the pictures as “the most hauntingly insightful portraits ever seen in the cycling world.”

Between March and September this year, Kölln also conducted interviews to accompany the pictures with everyone from star names such as Mark Cavendish and Fabian Cancellara to the humblest domestiques, with Rouleur saying that “each rider gives their very own take on life in the saddle, and the trials and tribulations of a sport in turmoil.”

“For sure this has been a long journey,” says Kölln of his work. “Yes, it has been five years in the making and when I came into this project, it was because I had a love and passion for cycling – the life, trappings and surroundings of the professional cyclist were interesting to me.

“The project started as a pure photo-series and developed over time to be much more than that. In fact the timing (2005/6) meant that project took on different meaning, as cycling was entering some difficult times in many areas.”

The photographer added: “It has been a thrilling project for me throughout the process. This is not a mere collection of images of champions, but about the world’s best cyclists’ characters and experiences, about the essence of their job and, eventually, their life.”

Rouleur claims that “The Peloton could be a milestone in cycling photo-documentary,” and the standard volume costs £50, while there a collectable limited edition, complete with bespoke slipcase and signed 24cm x 30cm baryta print of Manuele Mori, which costs £200.

The book is officially published on 19th November, but copies pre-ordered now through the Rouleur website will be sent out no later than 12th November and will be sent out with a special set of eight postcards.

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.