Queens of Pain is the largely unknown tale of women’s bike racing over the last century. From the fin-de-siécle velodromes of North America to the glamour and chaos of the first women’s Tour de France, the book is told through the lives of the great champions and heroines, who include stunt women and speed skaters, young mothers and teenage tearaways. The significance of their trailblazing stories greatly expanded the women’s racing scene of today and their direct legacy forms an unbroken thread since the invention of the bicycle.

“You get the feeling that Best cares about these riders as people, theyʼre not just the source of bike-bound myths and legends, they exist in the real world.”

– Feargal McKay, Podium Café

“Some absolutely wonderful stories about some of the real heroines of womenʼs cycling.”

— Richard Moore on The Cycling Podcast

“Best should be praised not only for her research into the lives of these women cyclists, but for narratives that are every bit as compulsive as the tenacity of her subjects. Her style does her and them, proud... A publication that you ignore at your peril. A book that will be deservedly talked about for many a long year.”

— Brian Palmer,

“This book should be read by commentators, journalists, broadcasters, cycling fans, sports fans, and anyone who firmly believes women's cycling is not exciting enough, female riders are not good enough.”

— Laura Winter,

“A welcome focus on the outstanding cycling achievements of some inspiring women... you are unlikely to find a better written, more lavishly produced, and thoroughly researched tome.”

— Richard Peploe,

Details and Materials

  • 240 pages
  • Published by Rapha Editions
  • Dimensions (trimmed paper size): 21cm x 17cm


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