Argyle Armada: Behind the Scenes of the Pro Cycling Life |

Argyle Armada: Behind the Scenes of the Pro Cycling Life

Aaron Bible
Summit Daily News
Special to the Daily

One of the things that makes this coffee table book so appealing is that every Colorado cyclist wants a pass to see behind the scenes of pro cycling. They long to know the secrets, to get a taste of the highs and lows, pick up a few training or gear tips, and just feel like they’re part of the action. This book gets them one step closer.

Released this spring by Boulder-based Velo Press, Argyle Armada lends an unprecedented look inside the sport and lifestyle of professional cycling. Embedded with Team Garmin-Cervelo for its 2011 season (the book takes its name from their trademark argyle team kits) writer-photographer Mark Johnson brilliantly chronicles the team’s most intimate personal dramas and public celebrations. From winter training camp on the cobbled lanes of medieval Girona, Spain, to hard-earned stage victories in July’s Tour de France, to flesh-shredding crashes at the Vuelta a Espana in September.

This easy to digest picture-format book does a good job of bringing the life and work of a pro cycling team into focus through incisive writing and spectacular color photographs. The book is now available in bookstores and bike shops and online.

It’s a portrait of life as a member of a pro cycling team during a time of painful transition for the sport. Johnson unveils the dramatic forces that Garmin-Cervelo navigated as team founder Jonathan Vaughters pushed forward his vision of a reformed sport. Along the way, countless difficult decisions were made to keep the team competitive in the chase for pro tour points, money, respect and fame. With unlimited access, insights and provoking documentary images, Argyle Armada is a backstage pass to the world of professional cycling.

Johnson has covered cycling as a writer and photographer for national and international publications since the 1980s. His work has been published in cycling magazines including VeloNews in the United States, Cycling Weekly in the UK, Velo in France, and Ride Cycling Review in Australia, as well as general-interest publications including the Wall Street Journal and the San Diego Union-Tribune. A Category II road cyclist himself, Johnson has also bicycled across the United States twice and completed an Ironman triathlon. He has a PhD in English literature from Boston University and has worked as a freelance writer and photographer for the Slipstream Sports cycling team since 2007. His other passion is surfing, which he does frequently from his home in Del Mar, Calif. Find more of Johnson’s photographs and writing at

VeloPress publishes books for cyclists, triathletes and runners on training, nutrition and the histories and personalities of endurance sports. VeloPress is a division of Competitor Group, which publishes Velo, Triathlete, Inside Triathlon, and Competitor magazines and produces the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon series, TriRock triathlon series and the Muddy Buddy adventure race series.

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