Irish journalist at centre of major new pro cycling publishing project

Posted on: November 8th, 2018

Having carved out his own niche in pro cycling media and commentary in recent years, Cillian Kelly is at the centre of what looks like an exciting project with huge potential.


Anyone in Ireland or Britain with even a passing interest in cycling will very likely have come across Cillian Kelly at some point.

Kelly’s blog Irish Peloton has produced some fantastic writing in recent years. And he really comes into his own with statistics and trivia – never trivial – about bike riders and races.

He’s also contributed to items on the Global Cycling Network YouTube channel this year.

And now Cillian Kelly has turned his self-confessed nerd tendencies, and writing skills, to a new cycling almanack.

He’s among the team behind The Road Book. In a nutshell, it seeks to drill down into the biggest races of the past year to a level of detail you won’t find anywhere else.

As well as stats and infographics on the Grand Tours, Monuments and other WorldTour events, the book is also filled with analysis pieces about the bike riders and races of the past year.

Edited by another well-known figure from the world of cycling media, Ned Boulting, the project has landed some marquee names for the 2018 inaugural edition; across 900 pages and in hardback format.

Boulting has done the introduction and it is followed by what sounds like an eclectic mix of writing and contributors, with Cillian Kelly in the middle of it all.

Chad Haga has done a piece on his Giro d’Italia ride. Harry Pearson’s contribution focuses on “the mystery of Niki Terpstra”.


The first of many: The Road Book 2018 has an initial run of just 500 copies. They won’t last long so you best be quick.

The Road Book takes an ultra close look at riders like Peter Sagan and races such as the Tour de France; all the big events and the riders who make them are featured.


Philippa York is also featured, and she writes about the “Geraint Thomas Cinderella Story”. Morten Okbo has a contribution on British dominance in big time international cycling.

Marianne Vos teams up with writer Helen Pidd for a piece on how Vos returned to the top step of the podium.

And Tom Southam – who wrote the excellent Domestique with Charly Wegelius – has penned a piece on the life of a directeur sportif.

It features other contributions from Geraint Thomas, Chris Froome, Matt Rendell, Rob Hayles, Peter Cossins, Jeremy Whittle, Lukas Knöfler and Lucy Martin.

In its first run, the book is limited to 500 copies and it’s £50. Clearly it’s a collector’s item. It’s produced with great attention to detail and looks high-spec.

The idea is to make a success of the first edition; get the book launched and sell the 2018 edition before growing the project in the longer term.

It sounds like the kind of reference book that will result in a lifetime of annual purchases at the end of each season once you get hooked after your first purchase.

Other sports have done it, most notably cricket. And now the drive is on to make this idea stick, and we think it looks like a winner.

‘This was an extraordinary year. But in that regard, it was quite normal,” said editor Boulting.

“We have approached our work at The Road Book with one aim: to pay respect to the year gone by and to all those, in particular, who have turned a pedal in anger.”

The Road Book will only be available to buy from Subscribers to The Road Book Society will also receive updated Road Book content, exclusive offers for events and more.