Reviews

“Great book that gives a good perspective on the popularity of cyclocross in Belgium and especially in Flanders. Geoff knows more than any American how cyclocross developed in the last 20 years and what caused the difference between the sport in Flanders and abroad. A sport in two different dimensions. Meanwhile he has become a personal friend with whom I share a lot of thoughts and who helped me during several races I did in the States.”

- Erwin Vervecken, Three-time UCI Cyclocross World Champion

“With Behind the Stare Geoff Proctor offers an expert analysis of the Euro cyclo-cross scene from an American point of view. Always passionate and literate, the book takes you deep down in the Euro mud. If you’re not yet a cyclo-cross lover this book will convert you with stories from past and present, with an eye on making a more international future for the sport.

“Focused around cross legend Sven Nys – the man ‘behind the stare’ – the author interviewed and analyzed Nys and all other top notch European and American cross riders of the 2007-2008 season, unraveling their training and mental approach to cross racing.

“The past few years I’ve encountered the author – a cross crusader – in many muddy Belgian meadows while he was carrying several sets of wheels, on his way to the pit. As always he was supporting the young USA riders, trying to pave the way. With this book he’s doing so once again. Trying to pave the way for cyclo-cross, trying to make the sport grow beyond that tiny cycling mad country.”

- Brecht Decaluwé, Cyclingnews.com

“Proctor combines his unique access to the inner sanctum of European cyclocross with a deft writing hand and an unquenchable passion for the sport to offer a fascinating, piercing gaze deep into its heart and belly. It’s a view previously unseen by American eyes, and although the focus is on the 2007/8 season, the story encompasses much more, including the history and context of the sport, the diverse personalities and approaches of today’s cyclocross heroes, and the clashes between traditional and new-fangled values, Old World and New. On the eve of what will likely prove to be America’s most significant cyclocross season to date, Proctor’s book is a must read. More importantly, it’s an absolute page turner, and upon looking “behind the stare,” both ’cross stalwarts and the uninitiated alike will have a tough time resisting jumping on a bike and heading off into the woods, straightaway.”

– Excerpted from a review in Mountain Flyer by Josh Liberles, former editor of Cyclocross Magazine

“Behind The Stare is a must read for anyone who loves the sport of Cyclo-cross or is newly exposed to this exploding cycling discipline. Geoff Proctor offers us a unique and focused view into the world of elite European cross often through the perspective of a handful of this generations most successful professional riders. Well written and fascinating stuff.”

- Marc Gullickson, Mountain Bike Coach & USA Cycling Mountain Bike Programs Director

“European cyclocross enjoys a nearly mythic status among its devotees. And indeed, on its biggest stage, the sport produces the stuff of legend on a weekly basis: it is a sport of garish interpersonal rivalries and solitary personal suffering; elemental drama intensified by the cold, the mud, and the penetrating gloom of the Belgian winter. But behind the screen where the made-for-TV, Sunday afternoon theatrics play are the rarely seen lives of the real people—the sport’s brightest stars and those who will forever aspire to stardom—who make cyclocross what it is. In a surprisingly intimate new book, National Cyclocross Team coach Geoff Proctor pulls back the curtain on the toil and triumph, frustration and fulfillment that comprise a year in the life of cycling’s most punishing hour. In a series of interlinked interviews, essays, and anecdotes, Proctor, who happens to be a high school English teacher as well, shares his deep knowledge and abiding love for a sport so imbued with heroics and tragedy that it is nearly impossible not to call it Shakespearean.”

- Dan Seaton, VeloNews

“With this book, Geoff has shown that passion is what makes life worth living. He has put cyclo-cross into terms that we rarely if ever read. Geoff lives and breathes the lifestyle of this incredible sport. I recommend that you sit down and read this book.”

- Dave Towle, Professional Cycling Announcer