Books Featured Reviews

Mountain Higher

Mountain HigherSubtitled Europe’s Extreme, Undiscovered and Unforgettable Cycle Climbs, Mountain Higher is the sequel (of sorts) to Daniel Friebe and Pete Goding’s beautiful Mountain High: Europe’s 50 Greatest Cycle Climbs. Concentrating here on the continent’s lesser-known, but still challenging and spectacular mountain roads and passes this is a sumptuous large-format book (no cycling jersey pocket potential unfortunately) that gives both lucid and narrative accounts of each detailed climb along with all the stats and stunning photographs to boot.


The spread through Europe is good – even Belgium gets something of a surprise entry with the 111m climb over 2.2km of the Oude Kwaremont – although the UK gets just a single mention in the shape of Scotland’s Bealach ne Bà (626m). But this isn’t a book for stay-at-homes (assuming UK residency), but rather for those looking for truly remote adventure in the less-explored regions of the Czech Republic, Italy, Poland and more. Correction: This isn’t necessarily a trip-planners guide, it works equally well for those who daydream on the sofa…


Along with a smattering of lesser inclines, Mountain Higher details around 30 routes that rise above the 1000m mark and a dozen real monsters that top out above 2000m. Because the book is broadly organised lowest to highest each turn of the page reveals an increasingly lung-busting proposition until you finally reach the… No, we won’t spoil the ultimate climb; it would be like revealing that Rosebud was a sledge (with apologies to anyone you still hasn’t seen Citizen Kane.)


For those of you that find books made of paper a bit antiquated (tsk!) the free QuercusEye app allows you to hover over a selection of the photos and have them augmented with video and other detail. It’s a slightly fiddly affair and Cyclo found it distracted from the pure pleasure of flicking through such a gorgeously constructed ‘wish-list’ but horses for courses. You can take a look at the video guide to the app at the end of this review…


Mountain Higher is certainly amongst our favourite coffee-table books of the year (along with Tour de France 100th Race Anniversary Edition, review here), regardless if you are planning to use it for adventure prep or fantasy musings; if you love two-wheels, it belongs on your shelf.


Mountain Higher: Europe’s Extreme, Undiscovered and Unforgettable Cycle Climbs (ISBN-10: 1780879121) by Daniel Friebe and Pete Goding is published by Quercus, RRP £25.00 – available from




Wiggins Wins the Tour of Britain

Wiggins Wins the Tour of BritainIn an otherwise disappointing year, which saw his withdrawal from the Giro d’Italia through illness and a no-show at the Tour de France (illness and injury), Bradley Wiggins has secured a decisive win at the Tour of Britain. Wiggins started the final stage – the 10-lap 88km course in London – with a 26second advantage and sealed the overall victory, despite Mark Cavendish taking his third stage win of the Tour, in a total time of 29h 45’22”.  Martin Elmiger took the second GC place and Simon Yates the third.


Post-race Wiggins admitted, ‘…at the moment it’s just relief that the job’s done. From the minute you’ve won the time trial you believe you can win the GC, but it’s not over until you’ve crossed that line. (The lead) was only 26 seconds, so if you crash before 3km to go, and all those other little things to think about. It was a pretty hectic finish as everyone wants to win the last stage.’


Commenting on Team Sky’s success Sports Director Servais Knaven added, ‘It’s been a really good race once again and I’ve had a great team to work with here. Everybody was motivated and we were able to control the race almost from beginning to end. The riders have executed our plans to perfection and they deserve a lot of praise… As for Bradley, it’s great to see him riding at his very best again and he’ll head into the World Championships now raring to take on the likes of Tony Martin and Fabian Cancellara,’


Wiggins will be in action at the World Time Trial Championships on Wednesday, September 24.