11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Even better than Volume 1...,
This review is from: The Story of the Tour de France Volume 2: 1965-2007 (Paperback)
Since reading the McGann's first volume on the Tour, I have been eagerly awaiting Volume 2, which I received a few days ago. Volume 1 documents the beginnings of the Tour de France and the early years (through 1964), and covers the race and it's context better than any other book. Volume 2 is even better; more robust and with greater detail; and it is the best piece on the world's greatest sporting event ever. Each year's Tour is recapped, but more interesting are the rider descriptions, tactics, and color. As an example from the 1992 Tour:
"Claudio Chiappucci was what Miguel Indurain wasn't. Where Indurain was cold, calculating, riding only to win and no more, knowing that whatever time gaps he had allowed could be closed with a display of brute horsepower in the time trials, Chiappucci was the opposite. The Italian was willing to gamble, to take magnificent chances to gain time. He had to run these big risks knowing how vulnerable he was in the time trials. Indurain said that he had to have eyes on the back of his head when he raced Chiappucci." The book is busting with observations such as this. How entertaining!
If you are a racer or a casual rider, you will love this book. And if you are a Lance Armstrong-era noob, you will gain more insight into that period from this book than from any other.
Highly recommended from an old Category 2 racer.