A Race for Madmen: A History of the Tour de France

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HarperCollins UK, Jun 9, 2011 - Sports & Recreation - 336 pages
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No sporting event has had its past and present, its highs and lows so intricately entwined with those of a country like the Tour has with France.

The Tour de France is the biggest annual sporting event in the world, and at the same time it transcends sport. The Tour de France comes to the people. It passes their houses, it turns right in their village squares, it thunders through their suburban streets and into the hearts of their towns and cities. It is a unique event in that people don't so much go to see the Tour, as it comes to see them.

A Race for Madmen traces how the Tour de France has developed and examines tactics, bike technology and rider preparation too. It profiles some of the men who have won the Tour de France, and others who have been key players, looking closely at their lives and motivation. Subsidiary competitions, such as the King of the Mountains prize, are featured, as well as Tour lore and traditions.

The book examines the Tour's extraordinary history, and how a bike race, a simple sporting contest captured the imagination of a country, then a continent and then the world, while at the same time it has stayed uniquely French, even though a Frenchman hasn't won it for over 20 years.

 

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User Review  - twiglet12 - LibraryThing

First off when it comes to the Tour de France and bike racing in general; as of 9 days ago I knew nothing. A colleague at work, who is borderline obsessed with cycling and road races and at the moment ... Read full review

Contents

A Tour is Born Growing Pains Into the Hills The Yellow Jersey The First Italian The Rise of Nationalism The Tour at War Il Campionissimo The First...
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Acknowledgements Index 1 21 35 47 57 73
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About the author (2011)

Chris Sidwells is a bestselling author, journalist, photographer and broadcaster; a writer of books, magazine and newspaper features on every aspect of cycling and fitness.

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