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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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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.

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

By Peter Cossins

NATION
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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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.

Tour de France: The Golden Age 1940's -1970's

By Jean-luc Gatellier

teNeues
Released: 2015-08-15
Hardcover (176 pages)

Tour de France: The Golden Age 1940 s -1970 s
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"Eagle of Toledo" and "The Cannibal," "The Angel of the Mountains" and "Leatherhead." A sporting event where the heroes earn nicknames like these must be incredibly powerful and alluring. The names reflect the nearly mythical aura surrounding the Tour de France. The men who bore these monikers, Federico Bahamontes and Eddy Merckx, Charly Gaul and Jean Robic, are only some of the protagonists representing the golden era of cycling who appear in this wonderful coffee table book. We see them on their legendary mountain stages, marked by inhuman strain and exertion, and as victors at the finish line, relieved and feted by cheering crowds. As appealing as these pictures from the 1940's to the 1970's are, some of their charm comes from the odd detail that makes a contemporary viewer smile: the leather helmet Jean Robic wore (ergo "Leatherhead"), or cyclists repairing and inflating tires themselves. Especially impressive are the photo series of epic duels, such as the one between Jacques Anquetil and Raymond Poulidor. Whether color or black and white, the photographs in this volume have a very special patina that allows the reader to revel in the greatest moments of a race that has enthralled millions of people since 1903.

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
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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.

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.

Tour De France For Dummies

By Phil Liggett & Sammarye Lewis

For Dummies
Paperback (287 pages)

Tour De France For Dummies
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  • ISBN13: 9780764584497
  • Notes: BRAND NEW FROM PUBLISHER! 100% Satisfaction Guarantee. Tracking provided on most orders. Buy with Confidence! Millions of books sold!
Product Description:
A plain-English guide to the world's most famous-andgrueling-bicycle race

Featuring eight-pages of full-color photos from recent Tour deFrance races, this easy-to-follow, entertaining guide demystifiesthe history, strategy, rules, techniques, equipment, andcompetitors in what is arguably the most grueling and intriguingmultiday, multistage sporting event in the world. Cowritten by themost popular English-speaking cycling commentator on the planet,this book is great reading for both experienced and the new bicycleracing fans alike.

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)

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

By Daniel de Vise

Atlantic Monthly Press
Released: 2018-06-05
Hardcover (432 pages)

The Comeback: Greg LeMond, the True King of American Cycling, and a Legendary Tour de France
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In July 1986, Greg 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. In summer 1989, he again won the 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.

The Comeback chronicles the life of one of America’s greatest athletes, from his roots in Nevada and California to the heights of global fame, to a falling out with his own family and a calamitous confrontation with Lance Armstrong over allegations the latter was doping―a campaign LeMond would wage on principle for more than a decade before Armstrong was finally stripped of his own Tour titles. With the kind of narrative drive that propels books like Moneyball, and a fierce attention to detail, 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.

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.

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.

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