Domestique – Charly Wegelius – Book Review

Most cycling biographies focus on what we have come to believe are the two fundamental cornerstones of pro cycling: the Agony and the Ecstasy; the pain and the victory. Epic suffering (often experienced both on and off the bike) is eventually contrasted with transcendental glory as the subject overcomes adversity to achieve their goal. The format is repeated in any number of books for any number of riders. We have come to believe that this is how is must be.¬†Charly Wegelius’ illuminating book “Domestique: The True Life Ups And Downs of a Tour Pro” (¬£16.99, Ebury Press) differs from the standard template. We get plenty of the pain and suffering of training and racing but the glory of victory is even more painfully absent. Wegelius spent 11 years as a pro cyclist, riding for some of the biggest teams in the peloton. He was well respected and, at times, his services were highly sought-after, yet he never won a single race. And therein lies the real beauty of his story.

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