It was the biggest cycling team ever seen in Britain, supported by one of the world's most famous names. They took on the old-school Europeans in their own backyard, pushing a huge wave of support and excitement before them as they shook the foundations of one of the world's most traditional sports. Then, on the brink of greatness, the house of cards folded. Now, the full inside story of the Linda McCartney pro cycling team can be told. Peaks and troughs, mood swings and wheel spins, millionaires and bankrupts, they're all there. You can read the truth about the stars, water-carriers and fixers that make cycling such an enthralling game. "Team on the Run" is the unique story of how the most famous vegetarian in the world came to sponsor the world's only vegetarian professional sporting team. Hear about how a small-time British outfit grew so quickly they elbowed their way into the Tour of Italy, putting a fair few Roman noses out of joint before returning home with a share of the spoils. Then delve into the mystery of how a team personally funded and endorsed by one of the world's richest men could dissolve into thin air virtually overnight, millions in the red.
Taking an anecdotal ride from the team's birth in 1998 to its spectacular implosion in 2001, you will be able to picture Sir Paul McCartney knocking out a quick "Lady Madonna" for the boys on his "old joanna" and David McKenzie making the whole of Italy choke on its prosciutto and cabbage, until the boys limp home battered, bruised and penniless when the well runs dry. Written by the team's press officer, John Deering, "Team on the Run" provides a revealing glimpse into the machinations and eye-popping realities of the cycling merry-go-round.
John Deering has written for PROCYCLING and RIDE magazines and contributed regularly to Eurosport's cycling coverage. He was into his third year as the Linda McCartney team's press officer at the time of their spectacular implosing, giving him a perfect viewpoint for this highly peronalised account.