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Publisher's Summary

Like countless other kids, Phil Gaimon grew up dreaming of being a professional athlete. But unlike countless other kids, he actually pulled it off. After years of amateur races, hard training, living out of a suitcase, and never taking "no" for an answer, he finally achieved his goal and signed a contract to race professionally on one of the best teams in the world.

Now, Gaimon pulls back the curtain on the WorldTour, cycling's highest level. He takes listeners along for his seasons in Europe, covering everything from rabid, water-bottle-stealing Belgian fans, to contract renewals, to riding in poisonous smog, to making friends in a sport plagued by doping. Draft Animals reveals a story as much about bike racing as it is about the never-ending ladder of achieving goals, failure, and finding happiness if you land somewhere in-between.

©2017 Phil Gaimon (P)2017 Tantor

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What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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I’m a fan!

I do have to admit I’m a fan of Phil’s. That being said, it’s not from his riding. I’d never heard of him until I stumbled across his YouTube channel. But his story, personality, and writing style have made me a fan. To me everything he puts out resonates with me. I truly like his stuff and the sense of humor with which it’s delivered.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Great listen. Narrated by the man himself.

Great anecdotal insight on the multiple issues of (barely) making it as a pro cyclist. Gaimon is funny and articulate, and it is obvious that the book was written by himself. Nothing like other ghost-written cyclist books (namely Armstrong's, Hincapie's or Hamilton's), this one was well worth the listen.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Awesome and Inspiring

I’m new to competitive cycling and have only come to know who Phil Gaimon was through his Worst Retirement Ever YouTube channel. I came to enjoy his YouTube videos and collaboration with other PodCast YouTuber’s. I’ve been training for the upcoming race season and was looking for cycling related audio books to get me through the winter trainer sessions when I discovered this.

I did not have any expectations leading in, so I was surprised that I was hooked and engaged as he recounted his success and failures. It was also touching to hear the passion he shared for his father and commitment for Joanna.

Great book, I’m a new fan and hope that he continues to produce content. His writing and story telling is great.

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Awesome

Awesome audiobook, with Phil telling the story made feel like I was there living it. Can’t wait for another book.

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A Fun Ride (see what I did there?)

The only thing better than reading a book by Phil Gaimon is having Phil Gaimon read it to you!

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Great peek behind the curtain of life as a pro-athlete (sometimes)

Wry, witty, and at turns touching and occasionally infuriating. You’ll cheer when Phil’s dreams of joining the big show are realized, and you’ll feel like an audience-member at a horror movie shouting “don’t go in that dark basement alone!” when the realities of life on the pro-tour in the post-Doping era (if there is such a thing) rear their ugly heads. Best wishes and good luck on your worst retirement ever- I want a book about that next please!

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a self help comedy with drama about pro cycling

Loved it! This book was hard to put down once I started it. It does a good job of sharing the ups and downs of pro cycling and you're guaranteed to laugh out loud.

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Cookie Monster.

This is a great book! Don’t pass it up. Read it! Phil is a great guy!

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I know why JV ignored him

What made the experience of listening to Draft Animals the most enjoyable?

First of all, Phil did a really good job putting together a book about his own experience in and out as pro and also throwing in some cycling dirt foreign to the outsiders. Interesting and funny. Money didn't waste on his English major. I enjoyed the book, at least most of it. A little too much wailing at the end like a high-schooler.

What other book might you compare Draft Animals to and why?

A secret race by Tyler Hamilton is a great book. I love it.

Any additional comments?

Don't let the author's own failure stop you from chasing your dreams!
Phil has the world-class physical attributes (VO2 max, power capacity and pain threshold) suppose a guy with a clean tattoo doesn't lie to protect his bruised ego. But he doesn't have a champion or winner's characters. Phil is not as disciplined or goal-driven compared with successful pros in cycling. He lets a life runs him rather than manage it. His sense of failure could be easily washed away with a few cookies or warm words from friends or strangers in social media. His priority of getting approval from fans or sponsors is over that of winning a race. In that sense, I understand why he was hired to be a "salesman" or a stage swinger in a guise of a pro cyclist. Any team manager who cares about the race results would choose a workhorse over a smart mouth, especially an old smart mouth.
A champion needs to have a tunnel vision. He is willing to do WHATEVER it takes to win and accept nothing less. A champion would internalize anything wrong into self and figure out ways to correct or avoid next time rather than hope better next time, not to mention wailing about it or using "clean" as an excuse or accusing others of doping.

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Phil you're a funny guy and a great storyteller.

I enjoyed your references to the IE, Mount Baldy, Big Bear, all favorites of mine.