Between Friday, November 29th and Monday, December 16th we will highlight a new product each week day as part of our Slowtwitch 12 Days of Xmas Gift Guide.
On the fourth day of Xmas we revisit portions of Dan's book review of To Make Riders Faster by Anna Dopico.
Anna Dopico’s book, To Make Riders Faster, on the history of Cervelo and its founders is not only an honest, previously-unknown-fact-filled look at that company’s 17-year run under its founding partners’ ownership, the tale she tells is downright Shakespearean. She should know. As Cervelo co-founder Phil White’s wife – and an executive inside the company – Anna knows where all the MacBeths and Hamlets are buried.
Cervelo was, at various places along the way, a start-up, a fledgling, then an $11 million company (in revenues) an “almost-$50 million” company. Anna and her readers take a breath at these waypoints throughout the narrative, only to dive back into the attendant problems with Asian frame factories, suppliers, banks, private lenders. It was painful to read, because these were then, and are now, my friends, and because it conjures memories of my own bike-manufacturer-PTSD.
Cervelo is now owned by Dutch industrial conglomerate PON Holdings. Anna’s book mechanically progresses through the stages of Cervelo’s battering on rocky financial shoals, and reveals how breathtakingly close the company was to insolvency.
It’s as good a book on the business end of sport as you’ll find, our industry’s The Big Short. Anna Dopico’s To Make Riders Faster is hardback, large format, 256 pages, with a lot of historic photos I hadn’t seen before. You can purchase the book for $70 or download a sample chapter first, to see if it’s your cup of tea. It certainly was mine.
$59.95 + 20% discount currently on offer, To Make Riders Faster
You can read Dan's full book review from January 2019 here.