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The Unknown Tour de France: The Many Faces of the World's Greatest Bicycle Race (Cycling Resources Book) Paperback – April 1, 2000
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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.
About the Author
Author Les Woodland is a freelance writer specializing in bicycle racing. He has been following professional racing and the Tour de France for 30 years and has written for numerous cycling periodicals. He is also the author of The Crooked Path to Victory, an often amusing account of the use of drugs and cheating in professional bicycle racing--both now and in the past.
Top customer reviews
cheating was more fun then.
plus getting attacked by villagers with torches and pitchforks, bears.
ride all day, chase girls and drink all night. reminds me of the 1930s-1970s in professional golf-
carouse all night, crawl out of bed still drunk, and go play.
Les Woodland set out to learn more about Garin and journeyed to Garin's hometown and found an old friend of his. Woodland found that Garin's public stance regarding the 1904 Tour was quite different from what he told his friends in private.
The story of Garin would be enough reason for any Tour fan to buy this book. But that is just the appetizer. Each chapter looks at some aspect of the Tour from Woodland's always-original point of view. Among other subjects he takes on the Tour's origins, the first mountain stages, cheating, interesting riders of past Tours and the bikes of the early Tour. In keeping with the book's title, almost all are subjects that aren't dealt with in other cycling books, making it particularly enlightening and enjoyable.
Time spent with a Les Woodland cycling book is always time well spent and this book is no exception. I highly recommend it to even the most knowledgeable cycle racing fan. It's a good, fun read.
-Bill McGann, author of "The Story of the Tour de France: How a Newspaper Promotion Became the Greatest Sporting Event in the World".
In this book Woodland draws upon his considerable store of knowledge about the great race to bring us several very interesting, but little-known tales of the experiences of some well-known, and some not-so-well-known riders who have had the honor of suffering in the world's greatest bicycle race.
The stories in this book show the human side of the day-to-day struggles of competing in the event, with some of the riders just trying to survive to the day's finish. While some of the tales are funny, and some not, all of them are so interesting that you don't even have to be a fan of the race to really enjoy this book. If you are a fan of the Tour de France (and why wouldn't you be?) then so much the better.