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101 Tours de France
By far the most complete history of the Tour de France ever written--in any language--When Heroes Were Giants: 101 Tours de France takes the reader into the heart of every "Grande Boucle" (Big Loop) held since 1903. Exhaustively researched over the past fifteen years, this account of the world's greatest sporting event not only covers every race in great detail, it also explores how the Tour de France became a country's national obsession--and why.
Draconian rules, bitter rivalries, and even sabotage are all part of the Tour's colorful history, and When Heroes Were Giants captures all of the event's action and drama. Every chapter opens with a look into feuds, collaborations, and other subplots that often had a direct bearing on the outcome of the race. The recounting of each Tour de France then includes every stage of every race, often punctuated with colorful quotes from the riders, the journalists, and even the race officials.
At the end of each race is a comprehensive set of results that includes the winner of every major classification (plus a few minor ones), prize money, and even details about the race-winning bicycle.
For the Tour de France trivia buff the story of each race also includes a complete rundown of changes made and milestones achieved during that particular event. These interesting tidbits run the gamut, detailing every Tour-related fact from superlatives to oddities, and even superhuman efforts--some of which turned out to be too good to be true. Any fan of the Tour de France can't help but be intrigued by this book; from the heroes and villains of the great race to the riders who struggled just to start, it's all here -- including the 2014 race preview.
8.5 x 11.5
many photos and maps