The Curse of the Rainbow Jersey
Cycling's Most Infamous Superstition
ISBN10: 1621240010 ISBN13: 9781621240013 Publisher: Consortium Book Sales & Dist Published: May 21 2013 Pages: 189 Weight: 0.60lbs. Height: 9.00" Width: 6.00" Depth: 0.50" Language: English
The Curse of the Rainbow Jersey is a peculiar lens on the history of professional cycling. It examines the infamous curse associated with wearers of the tunic awarded to the winner of the World Cycling Championships. The opening chapters look at how the curse originated with the death of Stan Ockers in 1955, other famous sports curses (including Curse of the Bambino, the US Masters Par 3 curse, and the curse placed on the Australian soccer team by a witch doctor), and also the history of the world cycling championships. The main body of the book is comprised of chapters dedicated to particular wearers of the rainbow jersey who were struck by misfortune, personal tragedy, or death. Examples include Paolo Bettini, whose brother died in a car crash on the way to a party to celebrate Paolo's win; Jean-Pierre Monser who died in a race while wearing the jersey; and Tommy Simpson, who died while racing two years after being crowned champion. The ill fortune visited upon wearers of the rainbow jersey is bizarre and tragic; but is it anything more than random chance? The final chapter of the book evaluates whether this level of bad luck is higher than for any other sample of humanity. A chilling look at the history of cycling, sure to fascinate any fan of the sport. Graham Healy is a cyclist and journalist living in Dublin, Ireland.