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The Cyclist and His Shadow (Le coureur et son ombre)



Original Language: French | 160 pp. | May 2017

2 Seas Represents: Dutch, Nordic, and North American Rights

Rights sold: Germany (Covadonga), Denmark (Forlaget Bobo – Den Franske Bogcafés), Spanish (Melusina)


One of the best accounts of cycling I have ever had the pleasure of reading. – Benoît Heimermann, L’Equipe Mag

Finally somebody who talks about the bicycle as an erotic object. – Stéphane Deschamps, Les Inrocks.

In 160 pages of great intensity, the whole universe of cycling is made real and dissected in precise, muscular and poignant prose. The moment finally came when Olivier Haralambon, a professional cyclist, had to give up racing for a living, but his love affair with cycling has never ceased. He went on to study the philosophy of the body. The sportsman gave way to the thinker and writer who evokes the sheer poetry of cycling as a physical endeavour in this book.

Brief but intense essay initiates us into the universe of major-league cycling and offers an in-depth physical, sociological and aesthetic analysis of man as a cycling animal. The physiological mechanics as well as the strenuous mental demands are examined in minute detail, due tribute is paid to the greats of the sport and the magnificent landscapes, lined with ardent fans, are evoked with great lyricism. For the first time, the true essence of the cycling experience has been captured. He is not seeking to make us love cycling, but he does want us to understand the feeling.


Born in 1967, Olivier Haralambon is a writer, philosopher and former professional cyclist. His novel Le Versant féroce de la joie (Alma, 2014) received widespread critical praise.