Angel of the Mountains

Paul Maunder


We send all orders via Royal Mail: within the UK, choose from 1st Class, 2nd Class or Special Delivery; for the rest of the world, International Standard or International Tracked. Delivery and packaging charges are calculated automatically at the checkout.

To collect orders in person from the Bookshop, choose Click and Collect at the checkout.

Quercus Publishing
20 June 2024
ISBN: 9781529429589
320 pages

From the publisher

The first English language biography of the enigmatic and reclusive cyclist from Luxembourg who won the 1958 Tour de France and then disappeared.

'Maunder's book is more than just a biography of the rise and fall of a complicated man . . . It is also a critique of the damage that myth-making and the media can do to an athlete; a study of what happens to a demigod when thrown from Mount Olympus' The Times

Charly Gaul is a forgotten cycling legend. Once a household name across Europe, the diminutive Luxembourger won the 1958 Tour de France and the Giro d'Italia twice. A unique rider, Gaul was supremely gifted at climbing and resilient even in the foulest weather. His pedalling style was smooth and swift, and he could set an unmatchable metronome rhythm on a mountain climb. 'Mozart on two wheels,' was how one contemporary writer described him; another dubbed him 'The Angel of the Mountains'.

At the end of his cycling career Gaul disappeared, becoming a hermit living in a forest in Luxembourg. What drove Charly Gaul into a recluse's life? In Angel of the Mountains, Paul Maunder seeks to uncover the truth about Gaul, his psychology and the circumstances of his withdrawal from society. In rediscovering Gaul's enigmatic life, we find not only an unlikely hero but also a larger truth about the nature of sporting success.