A Peiper's Tale:
By Allen Peiper. Foreword by Sean Yates
Published by Mousehold Press
As a child growing up in Australia, Allan Peiper never knew where home was. The son of an alcoholic but ambitious father, and a mother who chose the husband who beat her over her son, Peiper found that the only thing that didn't let him down was his bike.
Eventually cycling became his escape, when he took the unprecedented step of leaving his shattered family and moving to Belgium as a 16 year old in the late seventies.
In this book he tells of the new world and culture he discovered, as he fought prejudice and deceit, made friends and won races on the way to riding in the Tour de France and becoming one of the most respected professional riders of his age.
Cycling became Peiper's new family, and each chapter revolves around one of the many, varied and colourful characters he met, raced with, and sometimes had to fight against, until eventually he had done all that he could do in the sport
Then, as Peiper says; "The rooster came home." Life as a professional cyclist is hard, but for many life afterwards is even harder, and it is something very rarely talked about. Typically, though, Peiper relates this part of his life as freely and lucidly as he does the drama of racing.
He had bad times and good, and in common with many ex-professional sports people it has taken him years to readjust. Now he is back in the sport as a director of one of cycling's biggest teams, and bringing his own brand of humour and humanity to the job.
It's all in this book; cycling from the saddle and from the team car, and all the trials and tribulations in between. Peiper talks freely about every aspect of his life, and every aspect of professional cycling, a sport whose ethics do not exactly fit in with the Corinthian ideas some people have about how the game should be played.
Available here Amazon.co.uk