Book Review: Descent by Thomas Dekker

Descent by Thomas Dekker and Thijs Zonneveld, translated by David Doherty

When Paul Kimmage’s Rough Ride was first published he was accused of “spitting in the soup”, of dirtying the very milieu he’d worked hard to join and profit from. Here Thomas Dekker does the same only by now the broth is unpalatable to begin with and if this is a new story it repeats familiar scenes whether bloodbags hanging from hotel room picture hooks or team managers asking as few questions as possible about the training methods of their riders.

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Thursday Shorts

Lotto Soudal verkenning

All roads lead to Belgium. No other country embraces cycling in the same way, the fervour is extensive and comprehensive. There are billboard ads in the streets and at bus stops to promote races – including that one for the E3. The local press are full of reports for this weekend’s double of the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne and last night’s TV had reports on the route recon by teams. Gossip magazines put cyclists on the front page. There was even a live stream for the great Claude Criquelion’s funeral yesterday. The pedal revolution is televised.

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Dekker returns

Thomas Dekker
Scope for improvement?

A quick mention of Thomas Dekker. In case you’re not familiar, he was once a promising Dutch rider but got busted for EPO. His ban is coming to an end and now he has a book out. If this sounds familiar, yes it is similar to the case of David Millar given the Scot has been banned, has comeback and also released a book this month.

Thomas Molenaar
As much as it sounds like Millar all over again, each case is individual. We can draw parallels but the picture isn’t identical. Yes to the doping bust, the partying, the alcohol and now the desire to make a fresh start is similar, not to mention the book release within weeks.

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