Our bookshelves are groaning with volumes devoted to the Tour de France, the world's preeminent cycling road race. But in 2019 a new book arrived to mark the centennial of the first awarding of the very symbol of the Tour: the Yellow Jersey.
Book Review: As the 2021 Tour winds up the second week, Leslie Reissner takes a trip down Memory Lane and journeys the Tour de France routes of the past. Mapping le Tour by Ellis Bacon maps the journey taken from the first Tour to the 2014 Tour when the French race hit the roads of Yorkshire.
The Pyrenees have often served as a dramatic battlefield for the Tour de France and, starting on July 10, the final week of the 2021 edition will see five stages in these mountains. For cycling enthusiasts the Pyrenees experience is a must-do, and a new book by Peter Cossins provides an insider's look at some great riding.
Author Peter Cossins describes in his history of that first 1903 Tour de France, the inelegantly titled “Butcher, Blacksmith, Acrobat, Sweep,” the original Tour de France, something totally new and untried and flawed in many ways, “should be considered as one of the greatest events in sporting history.”
Bike racing in 2020 was very strange, things like races with no spectators and Spring Classics in autumn, but the weirdest is the overlapping of the Giro's final week with the Vuelta's first. But in 1981 only three days separated the two races and Giovanni Battaglin, in the new book “48 Days,” tells the astonishing story of how he won both.
Thanks to “Maglia Rosa: Triumph and Tragedy at the Giro d’Italia” by British author/Italian resident Herbie Sykes we have not only an English-language history of the Giro d’Italia, which is in itself distressingly rare, but an extraordinarily entertaining book.
For someone just coming into the world of cyclesports, the terminology, concepts and history can perhaps be baffling. How can you win the Tour de France without winning a single stage? Who was the Eagle of Toledo? What is the Cima Coppi? When you ride tempo up the Alpe and the elastic snaps, does the Man With the Hammer come? Thanks to a lovely little book by Tom Bromley, all will be made clear.
Judging from the spate of videos and perhaps related to the explosive growth in interest in gravel riding, endurance riding has become A Thing. One can only be impressed by Mark Beaumont's circumnavigation of the world. Who better to write a book about endurance cycling? But “Endurance,” a fine volume from the Global Cycling Network, is a valuable instruction manual for those seeking to go the distance.
Ah, mountains! Perhaps they share only with the sea something that universally arouses us to flights of poetry and fancy. “Higher Calling” is a book by Max Leonard that endeavours to explain this attraction to “up.” Beautifully written and multi-faceted, it elegantly ranges from the personal to the historical to the geographic and even to the macabre.