What if you were a professional road cyclist and – due to a run of bad injuries and loss of form – were told your career will be finished if you didn’t succeed in one of the world’s toughest races? Daniel’s dream of being a leading professional cyclist is under threat but, far from being worried, he believes he has the answer. All he has to do is remember it.

For that, he must go back to the very beginning of his journey as a 14-year-old rider in the leafy lanes of Wales’s Gower Peninsula, and then make a shock detour to rural Italy, where he first hears what will become his mantra – “Be the best that you can be.” The eccentric stranger who tells him so also introduces Daniel to the legendary Italian racer, Fausto Coppi, and inspires the teenage boy with stories of Coppi’s excellence, bravery, success and ultimate heartbreak. But the eerie man with detailed knowledge hides a dark secret. Once before he tried to inspire a teenage cyclist and the horror of that episode is slowly revealed to Daniel. In a story that threatens to tear a family apart, can Daniel navigate his past and call on the reasons that led to him becoming a professional cyclist in the first place? If so, he may just be able to deliver a performance in the brutal Milan-San Remo race and save not only his cycling career but everything his life has meant so far.

Will the memories be too painful?
Or will they lead on to ultimate glory?

David Brayley is a sports writer and author from Swansea, who worked on the award-nominated cricket autobiography There’s Only Two Tony Cotteys and My Premier League Diary with Wales football captain, Ashley Williams. A keen advocate of encouraging young people to read, he has assisted the National Literacy Trust with their Premier League Reading Stars Programme and run countless literacy workshops in schools. Resident in Wales with his wife and two children, he is a passionate cyclist, preferably going down hills rather than up them. This is his first novel.

What people say…

“What a smashing piece of work by David Brayley, a writer with a style and ideas of his own.. like his cycle racing subject matter, a real breath of fresh air. David teaches us life and relationships are like learning to ride a bicycle. When you fall off,  you can nurse your grazes or get back in the saddle and try again until you get it right. Champion of Champions is a life cycle journey. . . Over the potholes, sometimes exhilarating, sometimes painful but, lessons learned, ultimately gainful”.

Jim Gracey

Group Sports Editor of the Belfast Telegraph and Sunday Life.

“With the Tour de France on at the moment, a great book by a wonderful Welsh author, that I highly recommend”.

Rob Brydon

Comedian & Actor

“An inspirational and pacy read … utterly enriching. This is a book that would appeal to all ages, and regardless of whether you love cycling or not…”

Peter James

Award Winning Author

“Really enjoyed ‘Champion of Champions’ by @davidbrayley, a great sports book for all the family, can recommend”.

James Hook

Wales & British Lions

“Here’s a great sports book. Perfect if you want something to inspire the youngsters in your family to be the best they can be. Great read”.

Luke Wright

Sussex & England