Flanders is a land where cycling is not an obsession but a neuroses. In The Beast, the Emperor and the Milkman, award-winning sportswriter, Harry Pearson takes us on a journey across the Flemish countryside, through the lumpy horizontal rain, up the elbow-juddering cobbled inclines, past the fans dressed as chickens and the shop window displays of constipation medicines, as he follows bike races big, small and even smaller through one glorious, muddy spring to try and uncover just why a region of six million people produces almost twice as many pro cyclists as France or Italy.

Chaired by Sheilagh Matheson

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