I think there is a kind of irony in the fact that the Brits are now so dominant in stage racing. They will have to abandon the outsider role that they have had for so many years in the world of pro cycling. It is this outsider status that makes Wegelius' story so compelling and his book a must read. He shows up at a French dominated team as a teenage outsider, and works his way to valued pro the hard way. He learned the hard way largely because the continentals did not take him seriously.The British on the other hand had no real clue how continental racing actually worked. Witness the incident at the World Championship when Wegelius agreed to work for a foreigner largely because his own British squad was a hopeless case for competing. He, of course, was a "criminal" for engaging in the kind of horse trading that is and has been integral to continental racing.
Besides these ironies Wegelius lends useful insights for the reader who wants to get the feel of a grand tour from the inside. His description of the Vuelta since it has been scheduled in the fall is constantly with me,when I make plans to watch this year's version: a virtual afterthought on the pro calendar-full of the injured, the test cases, the has- beens and the still-standing.His description of the place of the Giro in Italian life is worth the read in itself.
I ordered this book with hopes of insights on the real workhorse of the pelaton can provide and I was not disappointed.