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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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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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Product Description:
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 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
Product Description:
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.

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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Product Description:
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.

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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Product Description:
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.
 

The Story of the Tour De France

By Carol McGann Bill Mcgann

Brand: Dog Ear Publishing
Paperback (316 pages)

The Story of the Tour De France
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"After forty years of study on the subject, I can with some confidence say Bill and Carol McGann’s The Story of the Tour de France is the finest such work ever produced in the English language, and perhaps in any."
-From the preface by Owen Mulholland, author of Uphill Battle

"Besides towering over all bicycle races, the Tour de France endures for its unique Gaulic character, like Victor Hugo's Les Miserables. The McGann's passionate and insightful writing evokes the raucous cast of riders, promoters, and journalists thrusting through highs and lows worthy of opera. This volume stands out as a must-read book for anyone seeking to appreciate cycling's race of races."
-Peter Joffre Nye, author of The Six-Day Bicycle Races: America's Jazz Age Sport and Hearts of Lions

"There are LOTS of books on the Tour de France. An increasing number of them are actually written in English. However, of those, none educates Americans about this grand spectacle’s rich past. The Tour de France has a history as fascinating and sordid as Rome’s and it is high time someone undertook to explain this to our American sensibility. Our guide for the trip is a man with a ravenous appetite for both world history and bicycle racing, just the sort of person to paint a Tour champion with the dramatic grandiosity befitting Hannibal himself."
-Pat Brady, Editor, Asphalt Magazine

At the dawn of the 20th Century, French newspapers used bicycle races as promotions to build readership. Until 1903 these were one-day events. Looking to deliver a coup de grace in a vicious circulation war, Henri Desgrange—editor of the Parisian sports magazine L’Auto—took the suggestion of one of his writers to organize a race that would last several days longer than anything else, like the 6-day races on the track, but on the road.

That’s exactly what happened. For almost 3 weeks the riders in the first Tour de France rode over dirt roads and cobblestones in a grand circumnavigation of France. The race was an electrifying success. Held annually (suspended only during the 2 World Wars), the Tour grew longer and more complex with an ever-changing set of rules, as Desgrange kept tinkering with the Tour, looking for the perfect formula for his race.

Each year a new cast of riders would assemble to contest what has now become the greatest sporting event in the world.

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

Graham Watson's Tour de France Travel Guide: The Complete Insider's Guide to the Tour!

By Graham Watson

Brand: Velo Press
Released: 2009-06-09
Paperback (340 pages)

Graham Watson s Tour de France Travel Guide: The Complete Insider s Guide to the Tour!
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  • ISBN13: 9781934030387
  • Notes: BRAND NEW FROM PUBLISHER! 100% Satisfaction Guarantee. Tracking provided on most orders. Buy with Confidence! Millions of books sold!
Product Description:

Graham Watson's Tour de France Travel Guide lets cycling fans experience all the excitement of the Tour while negotiating its many daily obstacles with the confidence of a local. As cycling's leading photographer, Graham Watson has been in the right place at the right time during every stage of every Tour de France since 1977. No one knows how to get around the Tour like Graham. Graham shares his 31 years of Tour de France experience in this beautifully illustrated guidebook. Featuring over 200 of his award-winning photographs along with full-color maps, travel tips, checklists, and travel resources, this book presents a fresh and unique strategy for getting around the Tour's many opportunities for frustration to find a front-row seat for all the action. Learn where to eat, where to sleep, how to get around, how to see and photograph the race, and how to enjoy the greatest show on two wheels.

The Story of the Tour de France, Volume 2: 1976-2018: How a Newspaper Promotion Became the Greatest Sporting Event in the World

By Bill McGann

McGann Publishing LLC
Paperback (414 pages)

The Story of the Tour de France, Volume 2: 1976-2018: How a Newspaper Promotion Became the Greatest Sporting Event in the World
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Volume 1 of The Story of the Tour de France concluded with Bernard Thévenet’s dramatic victory over Eddy Merckx in the 1975 Tour. Volume two opens with super-climber Lucien van Impe’s taking advantage of a course made for the riders with wings. His win was followed by the dominating presence of Bernard Hinault, who became the third rider to win the Tour five times.

Unable to fulfill his destiny as a likely five-time winner because of a hunting accident, Greg LeMond won the Tour three times. LeMond’s era was followed by that of the remarkable Spaniard Miguel Indurain, the first man to win the Tour five times in a row.

The late 1990s were a time of extreme crises for the Tour as the culture of doping within the professional cycling community erupted into the scandal of 1998. The Story of the Tour de France deals with this episode at length.

At first, it looked like Lance Armstrong had done what no other rider in the Tour’s history had ever accomplished, win the Tour seven times in a row. Both he and his successor, Floyd Landis, were revealed to have used drugs to win.

For decades, Great Britain was a marginal player in professional cycling, but no longer. British riders have become a dominating presence in recent Tours.

The book concludes with a quest for the greatest-ever Tour de France rider and an epilogue explaining the reason for the extraordinary success of the Tour.




 
 
 
 

 
 
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