Book Extract: The Eagle of Toledo

The winner of the 1959 Tour and six times the winner of the race's King of the Mountains, Spain's Federico Martín Bahamontes, aka 'The Eagle of Toledo', is widely considered to be the best climber cycling has ever known. Yet his relation with his home race, the Vuelta was far more tumultuous. In 1957, as this extract explains, he lost the Vuelta as a result of a mass attack forged by his arch-rivals Bernardo Ruiz and Jesus Loroño and, apparently, his director Luis Puig . Yet Bahamontes, to this day, remains convinced that the race slipped out of his hands for political, not sporting, reasons. Now read on...

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Alasdair Fotheringham

Alasdair Fotheringham has been reporting on cycling since 1991. He has covered every Tour de France since 1992 bar one, as well as numerous other bik