Cult Sport Books: Cycling

'The Rider'
by Tim Krabbé

The premise of this slim book, first published in the Netherlands in 1978, is simple: 150 pages to describe a 150-kilometer road race. The execution, of course, is the stoke: In addition to being an accomplished writer and cyclist, Krabbé is a former chess champion, and his elegant plotting and structure are worthy of a grandmaster, filled with the kind of digressions, flashbacks, and diversions that make this the two-wheeled equivalent of Nicholson Baker's The Mezzanine.