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Tour de France/Tour de Force: A Visual History of the Worlds Greatest Bicycle Race Hardcover – May 1, 2000


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Chronicle Books (May 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0811824926
  • ISBN-13: 978-0811824927
  • Product Dimensions: 11 x 9.2 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,896,892 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

When the Tour de France was first held, it was only six stages long. Each of those stages, however, was a grueling ultramarathon averaging 400 kilometers for a total Tour length of 2,400 kilometers. The largest margin of victory in the history of the Tour--2 hours, 48 minutes--comes from this race. From 1903 to 1999, Tour de France/Tour de Force covers the history of the world's greatest cycling race in words and pictures. All the great riders are profiled: Lucien Petit-Breton, "King" Rene Vietto (who never won), Eddy "the Cannibal" Merckx, Bernard "the Badger" Hinault, Greg LeMond, Miguel Indurain, and of course, Lance Armstrong. Tour de Force also traces the event's evolution; for example, Pyrenees climbs were added in 1910, ensuring that versatile riders would come to dominate.

Author James Startt shares stories of ingenuity (when Francois Faber's chain broke in the last kilometer of the 1909 Tour, he simply ran his bike across the finish line), tragedy (Tom Simpson collapsing and dying on the climb up Mont Ventoux in 1967), and triumph (Lance Armstrong's 1999 Tour victory). Lavishly illustrated, Tour de France/Tour de Force is essential reading for cyclists and cycling fans alike. --M. Stein

From Library Journal

Lance Armstrong captured the imagination of people around the globe by winning the Tour de France in 1999. Armstrong's strength of human spirit is precisely why millions of fans watch the race each July. Considering that the riders cover 2000 miles in 21 days, traveling through all kinds of terrain and weather, the Tour is arguably the toughest, most demanding bicycle road race in the world. In The Unknown Tour de France, veteran cycling reporter Woodland describes the event from a behind-the-scenes perspective. Woodland's book is a credible history, making good use of anecdote to detail how the Tour has changed since 1903. Moreover, the author chronicles the many colorful people involved and the drug scandals that continue to tarnish the competition. In contrast to Woodland's study, former competitive cyclist Startt's Tour de France/Tour de Force is a nostalgic look at the legendary challenge of endurance and skill, featuring hundreds of photographs and a list of results from 1903 to 1999. A special feature is an introduction by three-time winner Greg LeMond. What makes this title so captivating is the stunning collection of color photos. Although both publications are highly recommended and sure to be enjoyed by bicycling enthusiasts of all ages, public libraries may prefer to purchase Startt's pictorial history.DLarry R. Little Penticton P.L., BC
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By "lescaret" on July 25, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Then get this book, it's great. Great because it takes the reader through the history of the Tour, offering fun anecdotes, excellent vintage & contemporary photographs, interesting illustrations of Tour adverts & posters through time, etc. Plus, it lists all the Tour winners from the race's inception, including the 2nd & 3rd place finishers with their times. If you're into the Tour, if you always wondered what it looked like in the old days, riding through the Alps on dirt roads, shooing cows out of the way, then you won't be disappointed with this book. There's only one Tour de France per year, but you can peruse this book every day. Allez!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Eric J. Lyman on March 6, 2004
Format: Paperback
The 100th anniversary edition of the Tour de France/Tour de Force is a little hard to characterize. The volume's size and emphasis on photography make it seem like coffee table book, and yet the ambitious if not comprehensive text examining 100 years of history of the world's greatest bicycle race make it appear to be something of a reference resource.
That's not necessarily a good thing, because when something tries to do too much, it often ends up doing what it does badly. In the case of this book, "badly" may be too strong -- but it does leave something to be desired.
Much of the period between the wars are glossed over, for example, and the quality of the photography is uneven. The characterization of some riders (most notably, five-time champion Jacques Anquetil) can be a little patronizing, and the introduction by three-time winner Greg LeMond seems way off the mark (evidently, Mr. LeMond thought the assignment was to subjectively recount his victories rather than record his view of the Tour as a whole -- the second introduction by gifted cycling journalist Samuel Abt is much better, and the discussion of Mr. LeMond's career in the main part of the book is a fairer treatment of it).
But despite those faults, I find I still enjoy this book a great deal. Maybe it's a soft spot in my heart for this kind of history: to read that riders for many years sipped on champagne and puffed on cigarettes for energy, that the first Tour's riders rode more than 250 miles a day (albeit for one week rather than three), that they had to dismount their bikes to change gears by hand, and that the winning riders were once on their bikes for nearly 250 hours during the span of the race (compared to less than 100 hours in most modern editions).
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By ZOMAR ENRIQUE AGUILAR on August 2, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Every saga has a Beginning...Like the Tour de France. I think that only this book need more details about the other champions like Pedro Delgado, Laurent Fignon, Stephen Roche, Felice Gimondi,Marco Pantani, Jan Ullrich, Denmark Riss, same as the others super champions with more tour victories, because any rider that won the tour...All of they..are monsters and then, they have the honor that the world know the name of them. Congratulations to James Startt for this excelent book of the Tour de France History. Zomar.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey Morseburg on October 4, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Thanks to Lance Armstrong the Tour de France has finally broken through all the stick-and-ball-sports coverage to enter the American consciousness. Now, American viewers can turn on the Outdoor Life Network, now known as "Versus" and witness the world's biggest annual sporting epic. In this large-format, paperbound book, James Startt, and American expatriate, gives readers an excellent introduction to the history and lore of the Tour, which dates back to 1903. He chronicles the evolution of the event from a little-known publicity stunt for the sporting paper that evolved into l'Equipe into a worldwide phenomenon. The photography selected for the book is brilliant, ranging from poignant black-and-white images from the early years to the crisp color photography of the modern era. Although the tour is only one event on the seven-month-long cycling calendar, it is the most prestigious and thus the subject of a growing shelf of English-language books.
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