Book Review – Domestique

The world’s professional cycling season starts literally 250 metres from my home with The Tour Down Under.

Tour Village

Tour Village

It’s January, the weather is awesome and the sense of anticipation about what is about to unfold is evident. As a keen cyclist it is one of my favourite weeks in the year as rather than having to sit up all night to watch the best cyclists on TV, they are literally at my doorstep.

Sellicks Hill - 50kms from Adelaide

Sellicks Hill – 50kms from Adelaide (Stage 4)


As usual the race did not disappoint with Aussies filling the Top 3 positions (and a South Australian winning the race). To see Cadel Evans final race was special and Richie Porte blowing the field away, hopefully sets the scene for a great year.

I watched all of this whilst reading a book, Domestique – The Real Life Ups and Downs of a Tour Pro By Charly Wegelius. This is a book written by cyclist who was never really in the limelight. Someone that Wegelius himself notes the voice of cycling, Phil Legett, commented only in passing upon as he went to the front of the bunch when the going got tough. He was a true Domestique and not glamorous at all.

Pennys Hill - Willunga Stage 5

Pennys Hill – Willunga Stage 5

Wegelius’s book is the complete antithesis of my usual cycling reads that normally involve the intricacies of cycling technique (wasted on me!), Grand Tours, or drugs in the sport. The Domestique is about the slog that is professional cycling – it’s gripping, depressing and never exhilarating all at once. Starting out with his early years in the sport and moving through his time as an amateur, junior pro, member of team GB, and then his advancement to major teams, its a very personal insight into what being a very good (I’d say outstanding) but not “megastar” cyclist is like. Its one of those books that calls it like it is without being an expose. There are no dirt files, which is refreshing, nor constant reference to drugs in the sport (a topic I for one am now heartily sick of). I enjoyed the references to Marco Pantani, Mario Cipollini. He also makes some not so glowing references to, an Aussie icon, Cadel Evans. They all give context to a very personal story.

These is no effort to gloss over the numerous challenges, injuries, and impositions upon his personal life that pro-cycling made. He also makes constant reference to those fans who idolise professional cyclists, as well as people just like me who have a career outside the sport and love to ride; doing so in a fashion that makes it clear that what we imagine the life of a professional cyclist and the reality are genuinely poles apart.

This is a book for those who love the sport. I do and I loved it.
Thanks Secondrate Cyclist for blogging about this book as I would not have found it without your excellent review.

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Here is a link Amazon.Com

Adelaide Oval

I regularly post about Adelaide, as I am proud South Australia, so please indulge me with a few photos of our fantastic new Adelaide Oval.

If the ground draws me to watch the Crows arch rival Port Adelaide it must be special!

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Wikipedia provides a useful history of this famous oval

Link to Adelaide Oval website

Let’s face it, I’m a petrol head!

We live about 250 metres from Adelaide’s Street Circuit. Each year in late February it comes alive to the sounds of V8 Supercars. For many it’s a time to get out of the city, but for me it’s an added bonus of living in the city.

Adelaide for a short while hosted an F1 Grand Prix which was lost to Melbourne quite controversially in the late 1990s. The loss of the race is something South Australians still regard as “dirty darts”, Continue reading

Tour Down Under – Southern Fleurieu

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Today’s stage of Australia’s major bike race was in my favourite part of South Australia. It was a glorious day as I set out for a ride to take in the atmosphere. It was also the stage where the public get to ride the stage, so rather than being a lone ride there were thousands of fellow cyclists on the road.

The stage started in the city and then worked its way down to the Southern Fleurieu with the highlight of the stage being the ride across the Myponga Dam Wall

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I rode to the hill Continue reading

browney237.com is One

This post is all about me!

Reichstag, Berlin

Reichstag Berlin


It is a selfish reflection as browney237.com turns One. My blog is a personal writing space, and has reflected my own journey over the last twelve months: a period of transition.

I remember sitting at the beach house the Sunday after Adelaide narrowly lost the 2012 AFL Preliminary Final feeling quite unsettled. That feeling was not a product of the narrow loss but my continued reflection on my firm’s transition to retirement seminar, “Pinnacle”or as I refer to it, “God’s Waiting Room”, which we had attended a couple of weeks before.

I had also just finished reading, Herminia Ibarra’s “Working Identities” Continue reading