Cycling Legend Tino Tabak
Tino Tabak: Dreams and Demons of a New Zealand Cycling Legend
Published November 2009
Available in all good bike shops and book stores
ďSome people have already made up their minds about me. They say Tino did this or Tino did that. If youíre one of them, you might as well close this book right now, Ďcause youíve already closed your mind. Just put it back down on the shelf and walk away. Iíve got no time for you.
But if you really want to know what the business of pro cycling was like in the 1970s, I can tell you. Because Iíve been through it all - from being a star of the road at the top, to a pile of broken dreams at the bottom. Europeís greatest sport can do that to you.
Iíve lapped it out with The Cannibal in the Tour de France, and Iíve struggled just for the dubious Red Lantern. Iíve beaten Hollandís best to claim their road championship title, and Iíve risked everything to win a classic, almost following Tommy Simpsonís fate. It was madness. I can say that now.Ē
Tino Tabak, 2007
Tino Tabak postcard
Get updates on cycling history
Praise for this book
Tino Tabak: a frank, honest biography
His life story is superbly chronicled in a new book by cycling historian Jonathan Kennett. Iíve rarely read a sports biography as frank and as honest as this one.
This story blows most of the rugby and cricket biographies Iíve struggled through out of the water. I was genuinely surprised and delighted with the story that Kennett has woven over several years of interviews with Tabak.
Nathan Burdon, Southland Times sports editor and award winning journalist.
Ron Palenski, sports writer and CEO of New Zealand Sports Hall of Fame
Alan Messenger, sports reporter and former manager for Tino Tabak
Went to the book launch last night. Met the man for the first time. He is a larger than life character - the wonderful combination of confidence and modesty that so many Kiwi champions show.
Meant to read [the book] on flights later today but Jonathan Kennett writes really well and the subject is fascinating. Couldnít put it down.
I remember reading about Tino when I was at school and university. He often seemed to be in trouble with cycling bosses. He was probably our best performing cyclist in Europe, including being part of a five man break in a 144k leg of the Tour de France where they averaged over 46k.
He is open about drug use and race fixing. It helps me understand for the first time why some sports bosses were against professional sport.
Really good read, good reference section and only $20.
Trevor Mallard, Labour Party MP.
I polished off your book on Tino over the weekend and enjoyed it greatly.
Like the man himself in his cycling days ... he certainly wasnít afraid to go on the attack and speak his mind. Made for great copy.
Cheers, Nick Jeffrey. Chief Executive Cycling Southland
Tabak is a candid subject, talking openly about the hardships of racing, the drug use within the professional peleton of the 1970s, and his own self-destructive drive to win. Kennett has captured it superbly, making for a good brisk read about what it's like riding on the verge of brilliance - but not quite. Highly recommended.
Jim Robinson, Vo2 Max magazine