Pursuit, Profile Books’ cycling imprint, has acquired Colin O’Brien’s history of cycling race, the Giro d’Italia.
World rights to the provisionally titled The Most Beautiful Bike Race in the World – a History of the Giro d’Italia were acquired from Kevin Pocklington at Jenny Brown Associates. The book will be published to coincide with the 100th edition of the race in spring 2017.
According to the publisher, The Giro d’Italia is “as demanding as the Tour de France and is, to many, the superior event. It also has an extraordinarily rich history which relatively few books have explored."
The Most Beautiful Bike Race in the World will draw out the Giro's "remarkable myths, icons and characters, while exploring the huge cultural significance of the race to Italy as a whole. From depicting the famous rivalry of playboy Fausto Coppi and god-fearing Gino Bartali, to the tortured genius of tragic Marco Pantani and mysterious figures like Cavanna the blind masseur, the colourful history of the race will be brought thrillingly to life for a readership now familiar with le Tour and hungry for more from Italy.”
O’Brien is a cycling writer based in Rome. He will interview riders past and present as well as the organisers of the 100th Giro as they plot its celebratory route in 2017.
O’Brien said: “I'm very excited to work with the team at Pursuit/Profile, which has matched my enthusiasm for the Giro d'Italia since our first conversation. Italy's grand tour is as beautiful and idiosyncratic as the country and it's a vital part of cycling's past, present and future. I can't wait to share my passion for it with readers.”
Publisher of Pursuit, James Spackman, added: “This is a dream first commission for Pursuit. I have read countless excellent articles by Colin in the pages of Rouleur and am delighted to be working with him on a history worthy of this extraordinary event. His evocation of the legends of the Giro will be a tremendously entertaining read and there is no one better qualified to tell these stories.”