Philippe Brunel’s painstakingly assembled anthology of tales and photography named ‘Kings of Pain: Masters and Convicts of the Road’ quickly became a touchstone for fans of road racing, capturing the ethos and aesthetic of decades of the sport. It is a book born of days in the archives and from countless hours of interviews, making it an indispensible companion for anyone drawn in by the golden age of professional cycling. After spending many years out of print, ‘Kings of Pain: Masters and Convicts of the Road’ now has been republished by Rapha, featuring re-scanned, duotone photography on Fedrigoni paperstock, bound in high-quality Buckram. All the original Kings of Pain are captured by Brunel like you rarely see them, the book consistsing of some of the peloton’s most compelling stories and images. Be they brave, fragile, or a touch crazy, this book celebrates the riders as human beings making it a perfect celebration of the sport.
The book showed candid shots of legendary riders like Fausto Coppi hanging out in his pyjamas and Bernard Hinault in a grump on the train, exposing these famous gents out of the saddle, carrying on like normal human beings.
Following the cycling gear collection commemorating the 10-year anniversary of their Tour de France Kings of Pain exhibition, Rapha returned in July with an elegant Kings of Pain hardback. Featuring the original text by Philippe Brunel, the 160-page book presents the figures and stories that helped define the aesthetic of the Rapha brand. Eddy Merckx, Jacques Anquetil, Tom Simpson, Fausto Coppi, Raymond Poulidor and Bernard Hinault, one finds all legendary riders in the book, with duotone reproduced photography giving an enhanced look at photographs that date back to the mid-20th century. These are the warriors that epitomized the sport of cycling and in many ways the brand of Rapha.
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