American Pro lays bare the heart and soul of a struggling sport—and shares what’s wrong and what’s right with American bike racing.
American cycling has a long tradition of riding and racing on a shoestring and a prayer. Jamie Smith explores the domestic side of the world’s biggest amateur sport in American Pro: The True Story of Bike Racing in America.
American Pro rips away the thin veneer of professionalism among domestic racing teams to lay bare the heart and soul of a struggling sport. Smith traces the arc of one team’s racing career to discover colorful personalities, scrappy racing action, humor and heartbreak. American Pro shows what the sport demands: the scramble for contracts, the dynamics of team chemistry, the unending travel, the Herculean struggle to realize the dream—all for the love of bike racing.
With sharp humor and insight, Smith uncovers what’s wrong—and what’s right—with America’s broken bike racing system. American Pro will transform how you think of domestic pro racing through a five-season exposé of the sport we love.
Read a chapter from American Pro!
American Pro: The True Story of Bike Racing in America
6″ x 9″, 232 pp., $18.95, 9781937715762
1 Dreaming Big
2 Anatomy of a Niche Sport
3 The Road to the Major Leagues
4 Cycling’s Sponsorship Conundrum
5 Some Assembly Required
6 Season 1: Pink, Blue, and White
7 Partnerships, Mergers, and Acquisitions
8 Sophomore Year
9 Season 2: Pink and Gray
10 Orchestrating a Bike Race
11 The Weight of a Pro License
12 Season 3: Pink, Gray, and White
13 The Friends and Family Plan
14 Finding the Right Formula
15 Season 4: The Red Army Marches On
16 Cycling’s Clear and Present Danger
17 Uncertainty Sets In
18 Season 5: Red and Black
19 Closing Up Shop
20 The Taking of Fuzhou
About the Author
“Many cyclists start out whipping around city streets in small towns dreaming of making it big—it’s how I started racing. American Pro details the heart, dedication, and sacrifice that one team’s staff and riders go through trying to make it.” —Frankie Andreu, former pro cyclist and Olympian
“One of the best things coming out of the US cycling scene in recent years has been the slow stream of books related to racing bikes in USA Cycling’s Pro Road Tour (PRT). . . . The most recent venture into this territory is race announcer and award-winning author Jamie Smith’s new release American Pro.” —A Cyclist in a Strange Land
“[American Pro] is told through the eyes of author Jamie Smith, who frequently served as Astellas Cycling’s team photographer, soigneur, and go-fer. From this vantage point, Smith writes as an anonymous observer taking in the action from the back seat of the team car. The result is a cool new perspective that hasn’t been explored before in this genre.” —A Cyclist in a Strange Land
“There is so much that is awful—the lack of money and recognition, the boredom between races, the appalling hotels—one wonders why anyone would even put together a pro team in the United States, let alone ride for one. But the author brings the races to life and the excitement of competition is palpable. The riders push themselves beyond what they think is the limit, they learn to read the race, to employ strategy. And, from time to time, stand on a podium.”—PezCyclingNews
Selected Praise for ROADIE by Jamie Smith and Jef Mallet
“Everything you’ve wanted to know (and more) about a somewhat mysterious sport.” — Chicago Tribune
“This witty primer offers lively insights…Get it for family members and friends.” — Denver Post
“We should be very grateful for this epiphany; members of my family had to ask me to stop laughing so much while I was enjoying ROADIE!” — The Washing Machine Post
“You will recognize yourself…in this gently amusing and well written book.” — Arrivee
Selected Praise for READING THE RACE by Jamie Smith with Chris Horner
“A practical manual for those who want to learn the tricks of the trade.” — Podium Café
“Reading the Race outlines the key mechanics of reading a race and, more importantly, how to win.” — Road Bike Review