Bookshop

In association with amazon.co.uk, I've added the bookshop. The books listed below are that I have used to compile these pages, or have otherwise enjoyed. They are in no particular order. The comments are mine.

"The Tour de France - the history, the legend, the riders" by Graham Fife: buy this book from amazon.co.uk "The Tour de France - the history, the legend, the riders", by Graeme Fife, foreword by Chris Boardman.
In this excellent book, Fife gives one of the best anecdotal histories of the Tour that I have read. More than that, though, he gets under the skin of what it means to ride the Tour. A touring cyclist himself, the author seems to have a special affection for the early days of the sport, when the race was as much an attritional struggle against the conditions as against the other riders. Many of his sources from that era seem not to have been available in English translation before. Despite a few minor factual errors, this book comes highly recommended from me.

"Cat", by Freya North
Lashings of lycra in this novel that follows the eponymous Catriona McCabe as she follows a version of the Tour de France as a journaliste in the immediate future. It's something of a bonkbuster, but nonetheless very enjoyable, and the action moves along sufficiently well to keep you turning the pages. She knows her cycling as well - at least well enough that hard-core anaoraks won't get put off by howling errors, whilst those yet to discover the joys of the sport (surely there can't be any of those?) get broken in to the world of soigneurs and ecehlons and primes gently. Certainly worth a read.

"1904 - The Tour de France which was to be the last", by Jacques Seray, translated by Richard Yates
A thoroughly researched account of the controversial 1904 Tour de France, in which the leading four riders overall were subsequently disqualified, Seray opens up this murky chapter in the sport as well as may now ever be possible. Seray's conclusion is clear - that Maurice Garin should never have been disqualified, but should instead be feted as a double winner of the race. Certainly his major crime - to accept food away from the feeding station - seems trivial by today's standards. Also very good at setting the atmosphere of cycling in those far-off times.

"A century of Paris - Roubaix", by Pascal Sergent, translated by Richard Yates, foreword by Jean-Marie Leblanc
The official companion guide to the centenary Paris - Roubaix of 1996, this lavishly illustrated album tells the story of every edition of the race that Jacques Goddet called "the last touch of craziness in cycling". It is well worth it for the pictures and contemporary newspaper clippings alone, but the writing is also of a high standard, whether it is the battles between Faber, Lapize and Crupelandt, the epic struggle of Van Steenbergen to stay with Coppi, the incomparable De Vlaeminck or the tenacity of Duclos-Lasalle. A book for the coffee table and the serious student alike.

"The Giro d'Italia - Coppi versus Bartali at the 1949 Tour of Italy" by Dino Buzzati: buy this book from amazon.co.uk "The Giro d'Italia - Coppi versus Bartali at the 1949 Tour of Italy", by Dino Buzzati
A classic of cycling journalism, available here in English for the first time. Nominally this book tells the story of the 1949 Giro, where the new champion Coppi decisively beat the old, Bartali. But for Buzzati, the race was much more; a Homeric struggle in which Coppi plays Achilles to Bartali's Hector. It is a book filled with Pathos as Buzzati, a "Bartalista" sees his hero slain. A beautiful book, but don't expect anything too close to modern journalism!