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Guide 2 Cycling   >   Books   >   Tour de France

 

Books about the Tour de France


The Tour de France is the world's largest cycling race. It takes place annually around France (although some parts of the race sometimes take place in neighboring countries). The race takes place over 22 days, covers approximately 3,000 kilometers (1,875 miles), and is divided into 20 stages - the winner being decided by comparing the cumulative times of each competitor across all the stages.

Here are some books about the Tour de France:

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The First Tour de France: Sixty Cyclists and Nineteen Days of Daring on the Road to Paris

By Peter Cossins

Bold Type Books
Released: 2017-06-06
Hardcover (384 pages)

The First Tour de France: Sixty Cyclists and Nineteen Days of Daring on the Road to Paris
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  • NATION
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From its inception, the 1903 Tour de France was a colorful affair. Full of adventure, mishaps and audacious attempts at cheating, it was a race to be remembered.

Cyclists of the time weren't enthusiastic about participating in this "heroic" race on roads more suited to hooves than wheels, with bikes weighing up to thirty-five pounds, on a single fixed gear, for three full weeks. Assembling enough riders for the race meant paying unemployed amateurs from the suburbs of Paris, including a butcher, a chimney sweep and a circus acrobat. From Maurice "The White Bulldog" Garin, an Italian-born Frenchman whose parents were said to have swapped him for a round of cheese in order to smuggle him into France as a fourteen-year-old, to Hippolyte Aucouturier, who looked like a villain from a Buster Keaton movie with his jersey of horizontal stripes and handlebar moustache, the cyclists were a remarkable bunch.

Starting in the Parisian suburb of Montgeron, the route took the intrepid cyclists through Lyon, over the hills to Marseille, then on to Toulouse, Bordeaux, and Nantes, ending with great fanfare at the Parc des Princes in Paris. There was no indication that this ramshackle cycling pack would draw crowds to throng France's rutted roads and cheer the first Tour heroes. But they did; and all thanks to a marketing ruse, cycling would never be the same again.

The Official History of the Tour de France

By Luke Edwardes-Evans & Andy McGrath

Carlton Books
Released: 2019-10-03
Hardcover (176 pages)

The Official History of the Tour de France
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Enjoy all the drama of the world’s greatest cycling competition in this brand-new edition of Le Tour de France, which gives an authoritative account of each major era up to and including the 2019 Tour.
 
Generally considered the greatest test of endurance in sports, the Tour de France covers more than 2,200 miles in just over three weeks, climbing high into both the Alps and Pyrenees before ending on Paris’s iconic Champs-Élysées. This lavish, updated history of the popular event offers brand-new stories, as well as 300 photographs, some dating back to the nineteenth century, and features on the superstars and memorable moments of each era. The images include souvenir brochures, period newspapers, posters, stickers, postcards, and correspondence, along with action shots of all the major stars.
 

Speed Read Tour de France: The History, Strategies, and Intrigue Behind the World's Greatest Bicycle Race

By John Wilcockson

Motorbooks
Released: 2019-05-07
Paperback (160 pages)

Speed Read Tour de France: The History, Strategies, and Intrigue Behind the World s Greatest Bicycle Race
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This beautifully designed and illustrated essential guide to the Tour de France from Motorbooks' Speed Read series will make you an instant expert on its history, its winners and rivalries, the tactics necessary to win it, and the technology of its bicycles.

Le Tour has sometimes been called “chess on wheels” because of the complicated strategies used by the race's 22 teams and 176 riders. This book—written by award-winning cycling journalist John Wilcockson, who has covered the Tour 45 times—will help you understand those tactics, along with informing you about the race’s century-plus history, its famed winners and rivalries, and the technology that has gone into creating the modern racing bicycle and determining how today’s athletes train.

Among the questions answered are:
  • Who owns the Tour?
  • How are the course’s 21 stages selected?
  • What are the most famous mountain climbs?
  • How is the overall winner determined?
  • What is a peloton, a soigneur, or an echelon?
  • How big are the prizes?
  • What are time bonuses?
  • Who was the first American to compete in the Tour, and who was the first one to win it?
  • How fast do the racers go down mountain descents?
  • What speeds can the riders reach in sprint finishes?
  • Why are the teams known by the names of their sponsors and not their countries?
  • What do the riders eat, and where do they sleep every night?
  • What are all those motorcycles doing among the cyclists?
  • How do the organizers deal with doping scandals?
  • And is it true that, one year, the top four finishers were all disqualified?
You will find the answers to all these questions, and many more, in this informative, beautifully illustrated, fun-to-read book: Speed Read Tour de France.

With Motorbooks’ Speed Read series, become an instant expert in a range of fast-moving subjects, from Formula 1 racing to car design. Accessible language, compartmentalized sections, fact-filled sidebars, glossaries of key terms, and event timelines deliver quick access to insider knowledge. Their brightly colored covers, modern design, pop art–inspired illustrations, and handy size make them perfect on-the-go reads.

The Comeback: Greg LeMond, the True King of American Cycling, and a Legendary Tour de France

By Daniel de Vise

Grove Press
Released: 2019-05-21
Paperback (384 pages)

The Comeback: Greg LeMond, the True King of American Cycling, and a Legendary Tour de France
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A true American hero, Greg LeMond’s career was punctuated by dramatic fame, devastation, and ultimately redemption. In July 1986, LeMond stunned the sporting world by becoming the first American to win the Tour de France, the world’s pre-eminent bicycle race, defeating French cycling legend Bernard Hinault. Nine months later, LeMond lay in a hospital bed, his life in peril after a hunting accident, his career as a bicycle racer seemingly over. And yet, barely two years after this crisis, LeMond mounted a comeback almost without parallel in professional sports, again winning the 1989 Tour―arguably the world’s most grueling athletic contest―by the almost impossibly narrow margin of 8 seconds over another French legend, Laurent Fignon. It remains the closest Tour de France in history. From the heights of global fame, LeMond would then crash during a calamitous confrontation with Lance Armstrong over allegations the latter was doping. Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Daniel de Visé reveals the dramatic, ultra-competitive inner world of a sport rarely glimpsed up close, and builds a compelling case for LeMond as its great American hero.

The Grand Tour Cookbook - Tour de France

By Hannah Grant

Musette Publishing ApS
Hardcover (348 pages)

The Grand Tour Cookbook - Tour de France
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The ultimate Tour de France performance cookbook, a modern classic, a must-have for all cycling aficionados serious about nutritional intake. With 350-pages of easy-to-prepare recipes containing allergy friendly, natural, unprocessed foods, The Grand Tour Cookbook is the ultimate companion in the kitchen for athletes. With 350-pages of easy-to-prepare recipes containing allergy friendly, natural, unprocessed foods, The Grand Tour Cookbook is the ultimate companion in the kitchen for athletes. Based on actual food prepared for professional cycling s grueling 3-week Grand Tours including the Giro, Tour de France and the Vuelta, this book is a guide on how to cook, what to eat and how to maximize athletic performance throughout the year. Hannah Grant has a background in modern sports nutrition and The Grand Tour Cookbook focuses on the challenges presented by the caloric requirements of an endurance athlete: solutions are presented that comprise a beneficial carbohydrate intake, a bounty of ideas to keep vegetables, proteins and good fats captivating and mouth watering. Maximise your performance by changing the way you eat - lose weight, get more energy, conquer those goals and become a successful rider. Acknowledged by the world s best restaurant executive head chef Rene Redzepi (NOMA, Copenhagen), the book also features insight and experience from Exercise Physiologist-Nutrition Scientist Stacy T Sims, MSc, PhD, World Tour riders: Alberto Contador, Peter Sagan, Michael Rogers, Nicholas Roche, Ivan Basso, Roman Kreuziger, Michael Valgren, Christoffer Juul, and Body Therapist Kristoffer Glavind Kjær. Read opinions on food and nutrition for body and mind and how they optimise performance through eating intelligently

The Secret Race: Inside the Hidden World of the Tour de France

By Tyler Hamilton

Bantam
Released: 2013-05-07
Paperback (320 pages)

The Secret Race: Inside the Hidden World of the Tour de France
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“The holy grail for disillusioned cycling fans . . . The book’s power is in the collective details, all strung together in a story that is told with such clear-eyed conviction that you never doubt its veracity. . . . The Secret Race isn’t just a game changer for the Lance Armstrong myth. It’s the game ender.”—Outside
 
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • WINNER OF THE WILLIAM HILL SPORTS BOOK OF THE YEAR AWARD

The Secret Race is the book that rocked the world of professional cycling—and exposed, at long last, the doping culture surrounding the sport and its most iconic rider, Lance Armstrong. Former Olympic gold medalist Tyler Hamilton was once one of the world’s top-ranked cyclists—and a member of Lance Armstrong’s inner circle. Over the course of two years, New York Times bestselling author Daniel Coyle conducted more than two hundred hours of interviews with Hamilton and spoke with numerous teammates, rivals, and friends. The result is an explosive page-turner of a book that takes us deep inside a shadowy, fascinating, and surreal world of unscrupulous doctors, anything-goes team directors, and athletes so relentlessly driven to win that they would do almost anything to gain an edge. For the first time, Hamilton recounts his own battle with depression and tells the story of his complicated relationship with Lance Armstrong. This edition features a new Afterword, in which the authors reflect on the developments within the sport, and involving Armstrong, over the past year. The Secret Race is a courageous, groundbreaking act of witness from a man who is as determined to reveal the hard truth about his sport as he once was to win the Tour de France.
 
With a new Afterword by the authors
 
“Loaded with bombshells and revelations.”—VeloNews

“[An] often harrowing story . . . the broadest, most accessible look at cycling’s drug problems to date.”—The New York Times
 
“ ‘If I cheated, how did I get away with it?’ That question, posed to SI by Lance Armstrong five years ago, has never been answered more definitively than it is in Tyler Hamilton’s new book.”—Sports Illustrated
 
“Explosive.”—The Daily Telegraph (London)

Slaying the Badger: Greg LeMond, Bernard Hinault, and the Greatest Tour de France

By Richard Moore

Brand: VeloPress
Released: 2012-05-01
Paperback (304 pages)

Slaying the Badger: Greg LeMond, Bernard Hinault, and the Greatest Tour de France
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Bernard Hinault is "Le Blaireau," the Badger. Tough as old boots, he is the old warrior of the French peloton, as revered as he is feared for his ferocious attacks. He has won 5 Tours de France, marking his name into the history books as a member of cycling's most exclusive club.

Yet as the 1986 Tour de France ascends into the mountains, a boyish and friendly young American named Greg LeMond threatens the Badger--and France's entire cycling heritage.

The stakes are high. Winning for Hinault means capping his long cycling career by becoming the first man to win the Tour six times. For LeMond, a win will bring America its first Tour de France victory. So why does their rivalry shock the world?

LeMond and Hinault ride for the same team.

Asked by a reporter why he attacked his own teammate, the Badger replies, "Because I felt like it." and "If he doesn't buckle, that means he's a champion and deserves to win the race. I did it for his own good."

LeMond becomes paranoid, taking other riders' feed bags in the feed zone and blaming crashes on sabotage. Through it all, with the help of his American teammate Andy Hampsten, LeMond rides like a champion and becomes the first American to win the Tour de France. His win signals the passing of cycling's last hide-bound generation and the birth of a new breed of riders.

In Slaying the Badger, award-winning author Richard Moore traces each story line to its source through innumerable interviews--not only with LeMond and Hinault in their own homes but also with teammates, rivals, race directors, journalists, sponsors, and promoters. Told from these many perspectives, the alliances, tirades, and broken promises divulged in Slaying the Badger build to the stunning climax of the 1986 Tour de France. Slaying the Badger is an incomparably detailed and highly revealing tale of cycling's most extraordinary rivalry.

The Tour According to G: My Journey to the Yellow Jersey

By Geraint Thomas

Quercus
Released: 2019-02-05
Hardcover (293 pages)

The Tour According to G: My Journey to the Yellow Jersey
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The inspirational inside story of the 2018 Tour de France from Geraint Thomas, the first Welshman and third Brit ever to win the Tour

French Revolutions: Cycling the Tour de France

By Tim Moore

St. Martin's Griffin
Released: 2003-06-01
Paperback (288 pages)

French Revolutions: Cycling the Tour de France
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Not only is it the world's largest and most watched sporting event, but also the most fearsome physical challenge ever conceived by man, demanding every last ounce of will and strength, every last drop of blood, sweat, and tears. If ever there was an athletic exploit specifically not for the faint of heart and feeble of limb, this is it. So you might ask, what is Tim Moore doing cycling it?

An extremely good question. Ignoring the pleading dictates of reason and common sense, Moore determined to tackle the Tour de France, all 2,256 miles of it, in the weeks before the professionals entered the stage. This decision was one he would regret for nearly its entire length. But readers--those who now know Moore's name deserves to be mentioned in the same breath as Bill Bryson and Calvin Trillin--will feel otherwise. They are in for a side-splitting treat.

French Revolutions gives us a hilariously unforgettable account of Moore's attempt to conquer the Tour de France. "Conquer" may not be quite the right word. He cheats when he can, pops the occasional hayfever pill for an ephedrine rush (a fine old Tour tradition), sips cheap wine from his water bottle, and occasionally weeps on the phone to his wife. But along the way he gives readers an account of the race's colorful history and greatest heroes: Eddy Merckx, Greg Lemond, Lance Armstrong, and even Firmin Lambot, aka the "Lucky Belgian," who won the race at the age of 36. Fans of the Tour de France will learn why the yellow jersey is yellow, and how cyclists learned to save precious seconds (a race that lasts for three weeks is all about split seconds) by relieving themselves en route. And if that isn't enough, his account of a rural France tarting itself up for its moment in the spotlight leaves popular quaint descriptions of small towns in Provence in the proverbial dust. If you either love or hate the French, or both, you'll want to travel along with Time Moore.

French Revolutions is Tim Moore's funniest book to date. It is also one of the funniest sports books ever written.

Le Tour de France: The Official History

By Serge Laget & Andy McGrath

Carlton Books
Released: 2018-05-01
Hardcover (176 pages)

Le Tour de France: The Official History
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Filled with features and fabulous images, this official celebration of the famed Tour de France is now updated to include the 2017 race!

Generally considered the greatest test of endurance in sports, the Tour de France covers more than 2,200 miles in just over three weeks, climbing high into both the Alps and Pyrenees before ending on Paris’s iconic Champs-Élysées. This updated edition, with brand-new features and stories, gives an authoritative account of each major era up to and including the 2017 Tour—when Britain's Chris Froome joined an elite club of four-time and three-in-a-row winners. In addition to more than 300 photographs, some dating back to the nineteenth century, there are features on the superstars, coverage of memorable moments in every era, thrilling action shots, and pictures of souvenir brochures, period newspapers, posters, stickers, postcards, and letters will engross every fan of the sport.

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