***SHORTLISTED FOR THE TELEGRAPH SPORTS BOOK AWARDS 2020 – CYCLING BOOK OF THE YEAR***
Prepare to be entertained as legendary Eurosport cycling commentator Carlton Kirby shares his tales from the road, taking you behind the scenes of the world's greatest cycle races.
'A genuine one-off with a ready wit and a killer anecdote to hand at all times' Ian Cleverly, Rouleur
'Carlton Kirby is no ordinary cycling commentator, so it is not surprising that this very entertaining book is no ordinary Grand Tour on a bicycle. A very enjoyable journey for everyone' Phil Liggett MBE, NBC Tour de France commentator
'Carlton Kirby's infectious enthusiasm, wine tips and Shakespearean joy for inventing words makes every stage of a bike race a must-watch event' Matt Butler, i newspaper
With a candid authority that comes from over 25 years commentating on the world's biggest cycling races, legendary Eurosport commentator Carlton Kirby isn't afraid to tell it like it really is. Witty, outrageous and often outspoken, Magic Spanner is an insider's view of life on cycling's Grand Tours, including the Tour de France, Giro D'Italia, Vuelta a España and the classics, all delivered in the inimitable style for which Carlton has become globally famous.
Peppered with hilarious anecdotes of life on the road with Tour legend Sean Kelly, Carlton gives us an expert, behind-the-scenes view – one that the average fan rarely gets to see or hear about. As well as sharing his various bugbears (including crazy spectators in mankinis to the more serious issues of rider safety), Carlton also lifts the lid on team strategies, and delves into some of cycling's more questionable ethics.
Delivering a mix of expert opinion and trademark wit, Carlton covers the funny, the serious and the more bizarre moments on the professional cycling caravan. This edition also includes Carlton's guide to watching bike racing - live at the roadside.
Carlton Kirby is the principal cycling commentator for Eurosport and has covered the Tour de France, the Giro d'Italia and Vuelta a Espana among many other cycling races.
He has worked in broadcasting for over thirty years over which time he has accumulated legions of loyal fans who are drawn to his unique and, at times, excitable style. Known by some as the 'language mangler' and for his 'Kirbyisms' (occasional strange musings about not just cycling but the very fabric of life), loyal listeners have set up a Twitter account of his humorous comments: Things Carlton Says, @saidcarlton. Carlton's own Twitter account is @carltonkirby
Robbie Broughton is the co-founder and managing editor of Ride Velo, an online magazine that covers features, profiles, product reviews and news from the professional cycling world.
“Carlton is never lost for words, whether commentating or writing. A genuine one-off with a ready wit and a killer anecdote to hand at all times” —Ian Cleverly, Rouleur
“Carlton Kirby is no ordinary cycling commentator, so it is not surprising that this very entertaining book is no ordinary Grand Tour on a bicycle. A very enjoyable journey for everyone” —Phil Liggett MBE, NBC Tour de France commentator
“Carlton Kirby's infectious enthusiasm, wine tips and Shakespearean joy for inventing words makes every stage of a bike race a must-watch event” —Matt Butler, i newspaper
“Carlton's commentary never fails to bring a bike race to life, he has to be the Dalai Lama of all TV commentators” —Mick Bennett, Tour of Britain Race Director
“There's never a dull moment working with Carlton... I do try to keep him under control” —Joanna Rowsell-Shand MBE, Double Olympic Team Pursuit Gold Medallist and multiple World Champion
“Kirby pulls back the curtain to reveal behind-the-scenes antics from cycling's Grand Tours, laying bare the hilarious, leftfield and downright bizarre moments that covering the sport brings.” —The Herald
“Carlton's style often borders on controlled madness... sometimes without the control” —Brian Smith - commentator, team manager and British Road Race Champion 1991 & 1994
“I've heard all these stories before, but it was great to read them in silence...” —Dan Lloyd, GCN presenter and winner of the 2008 Vuelta Extremadura
“Get that bloody [Carlton] Kirby down here – I'd like to give him a good slap” —Mark Cavendish
“[Carlton Kirby] You make it sound like I'm not paying attention” —Chris Froome