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Rouleur 21: Robinson & Rasmussen
© Offside / L'Equipe
You know how it is. The latest Rouleur arrives, so you tuck yourself away in a quiet corner of a warm room and get comfortable, all the better to digest and enjoy each and every article in its entirety. And as pictures and words sink in, each completed piece becomes the new favourite – at least, until the next one…
Far be it for me to display any favouritism whatsoever in my strictly impartial role as deputy editor, but having read the contents of issue 21 several times over (and over, and over), two features particularly captured my attention for differing reasons.
Brian Robinson recently celebrated his 80th birthday, which seems an apt time to celebrate one of our greatest riders, a man who led the way for British professionals abroad in so many ways. The title of Graeme Fife’s new book, Brian Robinson – Pioneer says it all. The extract covers the first win by a Brit of a major stage race, the 1961 edition of the Dauphiné Libéré, in typically detailed and masterful fashion by Graeme. A great story of a great man.
© Ben Ingham
From hero to antihero. Herbie Sykes talks to Michael Rasmussen as he struggles to resurrect a career in tatters. Still without a team for 2011 and appearing on Denmark’s equivalent of Strictly Come Dancing, Rasmussen puts his side of a lengthy, complicated and, as yet, unresolved saga.
It makes for intriguing reading in itself, yet it is Herbie’s talks with Rasmussen’s parents, childhood friends and (most revealingly) his wife that build a true picture of a troubled character attempting to re-enter a sport that shows little interest in admitting him. The writer adds no comment to the testimony, but allows the reader to reach their own conclusion.
Two very different stories. Two equally compelling reads.
Graeme Fife's book, Brian Robinson – Pioneer, is available through Mousehold Press.
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