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“Some people have already made up their minds about me. They say Tino did this or Tino did that. If you’re one of them, you might as well close this book right now, ‘cause you’ve already closed your mind. Just put it back down on the shelf and walk away. I’ve 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 I’ve been through it all – from being a star of the road at the top to a pile of broken dreams at the bottom. Europe’s greatest sport can do that to you.
I’ve lapped it out with The Cannibal in the Tour de France, and I’ve struggled just for the dubious Red Lantern. I’ve beaten Holland’s best to claim their road championship title, and I’ve risked everything to win a classic, almost following Tommy Simpson’s fate. It was madness. I can say that now.”