Wagendorp is a journalist, he writes about sports mainly, one of his sports is cycling. Apparently he decided to put his knowledge into a novel, hence this book. It is about a cyclist in the night before the Tour de France. He is one of the favourites for the opening stage, a short time trial, but can't sleep, too many thoughts going through his mind. I think the genre is called 'window-story' in Dutch, I'm not sure if I can translate it this way in English.
Anyway, 16 chapters about the sport he does, about the sport Wagendorp likes. Though I like my sport to remain mythical, it is one of the attractions of cycling. That's immediately my problem with this book. It has been written by an insider, someone who knows more than the general public and chooses this book to show that he does. But as even outsiders know, even if you know a lot, you still don't know most of what is really happening in the peloton. So even though Wagendorp talks about dope, about races being sold, about ethics and about the life of the pro's, in the end he still remains an outsider who happens to know a few things. Either tell everything you know, or just don't bother. This attempt fails.
Not that it is a bad book, it is still entertaining to read and I'm sure all cycling fans will enjoy reading it, but it will never be a great sports book, in the category Fever Pitch.