To Make Riders Faster by Anna Dopico


To Make Riders Faster is a unique business-biography coffee-table book which will appeal to cyclists, triathletes, designers, engineers and entrepreneurs alike.  The award winning book, written by the wife of one the brands founders, charts the rise from a school basement project to a world renowned brand.


To Make Riders Faster – Anna Dopico the story of Cervelo ridden at Ironman


As cyclists it feels like we get given every book ever written by any cyclist, so our shelves are packed with biographies from Mercx, Fignon, Hoy, Thomas, Pendleton … we could go on.  Every Christmas we adopt the brace position and wonder how many copies of the latest cycling memoir we will receive.  If we sound a little jaded that is probably because we are – there is a limit to how many tales of obscurity to Olympic champion can we read in one lifetime and we are close to that limit now.


It is in this context that we have to tell you our little ears really perked up when we heard about Anna Dopico’s award winning book “To Make Riders Faster” which is the roller coaster story of Cervelo told by the wife of co-founder, Phil White.  We reckon this is one book we will start dropping hints about really soon, in the hope we will get a copy to call our own.


Dopico, who describes herself as an “accidental author, runner, cyclist, car racer”, felt compelled to document Phil and Gerard’s story.  The Cervélo story took three years to write and involved interviewing employees, partners, suppliers, customers and athletes for their insights and perspectives. 


To Make Riders Faster – Anna Dopico the story of Cervelo



In short, the 256 page book - which interestingly comes in hard back and is beautifully illustrated, making it both a coffee table book and a biographical account - is the story of how Phil White and Gerard Vroomen disrupted the cycling industry by creating the world’s fastest bikes, a new industry “aero road” category and a global cycling brand… which started from a basement in Montreal Canada.


They say they “didn’t realise the tide of change we brought to the craft-based cycling industry, we only knew our bikes were faster” and “To Make Riders Faster” is an entrepreneurial tale of how two young engineering students defied convention and established themselves as pioneers of the cycling industry.


The young engineers’ desire to embrace the science of aerodynamics and break away from tradition led them to create one of the most respected brands in the industry.  Their bicycles have been ridden to victory in the world’s most prestigious races from The Tour de France, The Olympics and the IRONMAN World Championships.  To this day, Cervélo is ridden by the world’s top riders including the GB Track Cycling team and consistently dominates the “Kona count” as the preferred brand of the world’s top triathletes at the IRONMAN World Championships.


To Make Riders Faster – Anna Dopico the story of Cervelo ridden by David Zabriskie


Dopico tells the story of how, in less than a decade, she watched two university students

who lived like paupers working out of her basement and garage, build a great bicycle and go

on to become worldwide industry leaders, only to face the fight of their lives to keep their

company alive.  It is, we are promised, a spell-binding journey and once the book is in hand, it can’t be put down.


It sounds like a really unique business-biography coffee-table book with almost universal appeal to cyclists, triathletes, designers, engineers and entrepreneurs.  And it has been recognised by Reader Views and a specialist panel of private, independent literary reviewers, to receive the coveted Reviewers Choice Award.  The story won the 1st prize literary award in the business/sales/economics category.  The book has also won the 2019 Next Generation Indie Book Awards for Best Business book.


So if you are looking for an inspirational read, that combines sport, business and a real human story this looks like it might be just perfect.  Here’s hoping we don’t have to wait until Christmas!


Title: To Make Riders Faster, Anna Dopico

Details: 256 page hardback book

Publisher: Whistler Independent Book Awards 2019, Non-Fiction Shortlist

Website: including free sample chapter

Price: £39.00 from To-Make-Riders-Faster-Book


Reviewed by Jan Birkmyre



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