About me

My career so far

Lionel Birnie

Hello, and thank you for visiting my website. You’re probably here because you’re familiar with some of my work, whether it’s related to football or cycling.

Maybe you’ve read one of my books or seen my byline in a newspaper or magazine, or perhaps you’ve heard me on a podcast or on the radio. Either way, I appreciate you stopping by. On this page, I’ll explain a bit about my career so far and some of the projects I am involved in.

I began my career in journalism at the Watford Observer in 1993 and moved to Cycling Weekly in 1998. The following year, I covered the Tour de France for the first time and in 2001 I decided to go freelance, continuing as a regular feature writer for Cycling Weekly and Cycle Sport until 2011. This is a summary of some of the projects I have worked on over the years.

The Cycling Podcast

Richard Moore, Daniel Friebe and I started The Cycling Podcast just before the 2013 Tour de France and have been recording weekly episodes discussing the big issues in professional cycling since. We try to put together an entertaining and informative mix of interviews, analysis and debate, bringing our own personal experiences of the sport to the shows when appropriate. The Tour de France is the busiest time of year, when we record daily episodes. In 2014, we became the first podcast to be granted official accreditation at the Tour. In January 2015, we launched our Friends of the Podcast scheme, offering access to exclusive 11 special episodes, released monthly throughout the year, for £5, which in turn has enabled us to keep the regular shows free for all.

The Cycling Anthology

In 2012, I founded The Cycling Anthology with Ellis Bacon. The Cycling Anthology is a series of paperback books showcasing some of the best writing about professional cycling.

The Sunday Times

I first started writing about cycling for The Sunday Times during the 2008 Tour de France and have been a regular contributor since.

Peloton Publishing

In 2010, I started my own independent publishing company, initially to enable me to publish books about Watford Football Club.

Hunger – Sean Kelly’s autobiography

Ireland’s Sean Kelly is one of the most successful cyclists of all-time. He won the green jersey at the Tour de France four times in the 1980s, the Vuelta a España as well as Paris-Roubaix and Liège-Bastogne-Liège. I collaborated with Sean to produce his autobiography, which was released by Peloton Publishing in June 2013. The book was shortlisted for the Irish Sports Book of the Year.

Watford Football Club books

The first book I wrote about Watford was Four Seasons, which was published in 2001. Nine years later, I wrote Enjoy the Game, which tells the story of the club’s incredible rise through the divisions under Graham Taylor and Elton John in the late 1970s and 1980s. That was followed by The 100 Greatest Watford Wins, which probably needs no more explanation and was a lot of fun to research and write. In 2012, I published volume one of Tales from the Vicarage, a collection of work by journalists and broadcasters who all have an affinity with the club.

Channels

The Cycling Podcast

Weekly interviews, analysis and discussion

Le Gourmet de France

A gastronomic journey at the Tour de France

Hunger

Sean Kelly's autobiography