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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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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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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.

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  • Brian
  • Salinas, CA, United States
  • 12-11-17

Doesn’t pull punches

I have read most of Phil’s work and I am a fan already, so coming in I figured this would be a fun way to enjoy a few hours. It’s fun to hear the “behind the scenes” stories where I often wonder if JV and others are offended or just write this off as “Phil being Phil” - regardless, it’s entertaining! There is an interesting sub-plot with Tom Danielson that I heard others have negative comments about. However, I enjoyed that part. Overall, Phil comes off a little strong, but that’s also what makes it so good. It’s not some watered down version of events. Good use of a credit.

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  • tim
  • lowell, IN, United States
  • 12-08-17

Thanks for This Phil

Another Great Book by the Cookie Monster, made all the better with Phil personally narrating it. Great Listen, with Great Guidance.

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fantastic narration

listening to Phil's story in anyone elses voice would have been very unsettling. really interesting message, and look into the pro cycling world post Lance.

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I have read a 3 books by Phil.

It complimented the other books well. Worth reading. He can only. Write about retirement now.