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The sensational story of the rise and fall of Reg Harris, Britain's first cycling hero

Reg Harris, whose statue overlooks the Manchester Velodrome, is the legend who all track cyclists want to emulate. He was a poor, working-class boy born in the Depression who escaped the Lancashire mills to utterly dominate his sport. He triumphed as world champion an incredible
five times between 1947 and 1954 and performed medal-winning heroics at the London Olympics.
At his peak he was the most adored sportsman in the country attracting huge crowds, sponsorship, and the company of the rich and famous. But, fiercely driven and ruthlessly single-minded, Harris had a dark side. His was a sensational life fuelled by an insatiable need for money, celebrity, fast cars and beautiful women that constantly threatened to destroy him.

Following an exhaustive investigation, Robert Dineen has uncovered an epic sporting rise and fall – a story more astounding than anyone had known.


A legend of the sport... I got tired of people telling me I wasn't as fast as him

Chris Hoy

This book is compelling... Dineen has explored all facets of Harris's character and gets right to the nub of a man who lit the fuse which ultimately led to today's cycling explosion in Britain. With enough attention to detail to satisfy the cycling afficionado and enough insight to engage anybody who has ever paused to consider the human condition, this deserves a wide audience.

The Irish Post, The Irish Post

A fascinating read


The first superstar of British cycling

Daily Telegraph


Mail on Sunday

Well worth reading.


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Formats & editions

  • Paperback


    July 15, 2013

    Ebury Press

    352 pages

    RRP $27.99

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