THE RIDER describes one 150-kilometre race in just 150 pages. In the course of the narrative, we get to know the forceful, bumbling Lebusque, the aesthete Barthélemy, the young Turk Reilhan and the mysterious 'rider from Cycles Goff'. Krabbé battles with and against each of them in turn, failing on the descents, shining on the climbs, suffering on the (false) flats. The outcome of the race is, in fact, merely the last stanza of an exciting and too-brief paean to stamina, suffering and the redeeming power of humour. This is not a history of road racing, a hagiography of the European greats or even a factual account of his own amateur cycling career. Instead, Krabbé allows us to race with him, inside his skull as it were, during a mythical Tour de Mont Aigoual.
'On the one hand it is a literary masterpiece that will still be read a hundred years from now; on the other, it is the best book on sports in the Dutch language'
About The Author
Tim Krabbé is a chess as well as a cycling enthusiast and one of Holland's leading writers. His many books include the noir novels THE VANISHING and THE CAVE. He lives in Amsterdam. Sam Garrett, a former wire-service correspondent, is the translator of THE CAVE, also by Tim Krabbé, THE GATES OF DAMASCUS by Lieve Joris and SILENT EXTRAS by Arnon Grunberg.