How I Won the Yellow J...
Ned Boulting
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How I Won the Yellow Jumper: Dispatches from the Tour de France

3.78 of 5 stars 3.78  ·  rating details  ·  294 ratings  ·  48 reviews
'Paris, 4 July 2003: My first Tour de France. I had never seen a bike race. I had only vaguely heard of Lance Armstrong. I had no idea what I was doing there. Yet, that day I was broadcasting live on television. I fumbled my way through a few platitudes, before summing up with the words, "...Dave Millar just missing out on the Yellow Jumper." Yes, the Yellow Jumper.'

ebook, 416 pages
Published June 2nd 2011 by Vintage Digital (first published May 28th 2011)
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Jan 05, 2013 James rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: All fans of the Tour de France
Recommended to James by: Mark
The tale of young Ned Boulting. Fresh-faced and innocent as he joins the ITV Tour de France coverage team in 2003. Transferred in from other, lesser, sports Ned is completely green in the ways of cycling – as the description of Gary Imlach quizzing him demonstrates. "They have teams? I didn't know that." But, being on that journey with Ned is part of the joy of this book. He knows he knows nothing, but he's going to have a crack at it anyway. And on the way he'll learn (hopefully in time so he d...more
Jim McDonnell
A really quick, easy and enjoyable read, I could have easily read a version three times longer. Always amusing, interesting and enlightening - with this year's Tour a couple of weeks away I feel like I've been given a little bit of insider knowledge about how Le Tour works and how the pictures and sounds get to our tv screens.

Ned Boulting's writing style is informal, natural and very readable. He has plenty of Tour anecdotes from his years as a reporter there; and although he doesn't offer any c...more
I have recently become a fan of professional cycling. Despite the allegations of doping and corruption cycling is still a fantastic sport enjoyed by millions across the globe. Arguably the biggest event in the pro cycling calender is the Tour de France.

Ned Boulting has written this book chronicling his experiences covering the tour for ITV over several years. In it he writes about the difficulty of following the tour for weeks on end, staying in bad hotels, struggling to find clean clothes to w...more
I absolutely loved this book!

Grew up watching the Tour de France with my Dad, and have seen virtually every stage televised in the 80s, 90s, 00s and 10's to date. Throughout this time the commentary team of Phil Ligget, Paul Sherwen, Gary Imlach and more recently Chris Boardman and Ned Boulting have been my travelling companions as I've learnt how this gruelling sport works. I've watched heady days of dramatic climbs, ongoing duels between champions and of course the gloom of drugs cheats envelo...more
Always one to want to know more about what goes on "behind the scenes", this was the perfect book for me to find out a bit more about the media melée that surrounds the Tour de France, and what life on tour is like if you're not actually a professional cyclist. From the offset Ned Boulting is open and honest about his knowledge (or original lack thereof) of cycling, and it is for this reason that this book would be entertaining and interesting to both cyclists, cycling fans and just those who ar...more
Paul Cheney
I have watched the Tour on Channel 4 and now ITV 4 for many many years now, and read as much about the sport and the riders as I can. It was nice to read up on the view from the journalist.

Boulting was a football journalist before landing in France 2 days before the start of the 2004 tour with almost no preparation. He was briefed by members of the team and dropped from a great height into the deep end. The first interview he had with a rider he asked about the yellow jumper (normally jersey) an...more
I really enjoy Ned's relaxed comedic approach to life and this comes over in this book. It documents Ned's movement from football fan and commentator asked to work on the Tour de France to huge cycling fan. I think a lot of cycling fans will identify with this dawning realisation of the love of our sport.
Self-deprecating and funny, well worth a read.
Adam Coatham
A light-hearted read that produced more than a few chuckles. This will not satisfy the cycling über-fan, as it's not about the science of the sport - it's about the human factor, documenting a TV crew's travels around France during the Tour, and one man's baptism of fire to learn a sport he knew nothing about. Very enjoyable, Ned Boulting shows a good dry humour throughout.
Simba Sagwete
Great book with funny, interesting anecdotes on what it's like to report on the world's biggest and best [bike] race as well as what it's like to swim around in British cycling. Interesting read though it's definitely a light read.
Sam Cook
As I am somebody who would love to cover sport as a profession and also developing an understanding and interest in the cycling world, Ned Boulting's How I won the Yellow Jumper was of great interest to be, and perfectly satisfied both of these areas.

The book follows real life events, from Ned's first Tour de France reporting task, where you see him grow from a reporter who was out of his depth, naively asking about a Yellow Jumper, to somebody who is now passionate about the sport, and takes a...more
Martin Sidgreaves
I was given this book as a birthday present and was keen to finish the book I was reading so I could start this one.

From the start I wasn't disappointed, from the start HIWTYJ was a captivating, entertaining, humorous and honest account of Ned's time on the Tour since 2003. He has tried to broach all areas of professional cycling from the great days of Armstrong to the dark days of the doping scandals and allows the reader a better insight to the workings of 'The Greatest Show On Earth' & th...more
A great read, very well written, highly amusing account of life on the Tour. I would happily give this 5 stars but the book is in desperate need of a decent proofread, a shame that Ned's excellent prose is let down by this oversight by the publisher.
Really enjoyed this. Having just read David Millar's book Racing Through the Dark: The Fall and Rise of David Millar it was interesting to see a lot of the same events from the journalists point of view.

It's a funny book. I started watching the tour not long after Ned started with the ITV coverage so I get how confusing it all is to start with, the teams, team tactics, the different races all happening within the same race...
Great book. A very entertaining account of his career as a TdF reporter.
Made me laugh out loud quite a few times, which is a pretty good test of a comedy book.

I've been watching the Tour since childhood with my Dad, but only got back into watching it daily recently. This book had just enough history to make it rooted in the Tour and keep it familiar.

I also liked the parts about the daily grind, like toilets or food, which illuminated a journalist's experience.

Loved the insights into the personalities of a few great riders, including members of Team Sky.

Made me want...more
Shelley Des Forges
Genuinely laugh out loud funny. As an avid tour fan I learnt a lot from Ned's experiences and am sure anyone fan or otherwise would enjoy this read. I'd be interested to know how he feels about Armstrong now that all has been revealed. A downside is the poor rendition of the pictures scattered throughout the text. This may be a non-issue if reading electronic versions. A highly entertaining read I would recommend to anyone.
Drew Buddie
Having had this book recommended to me by people who knew I live watching the Tour de France, I enjoyed it every bit as much as I expected to. It is written in a really accessible, self-deprecating chatty style which instead of grating is endearing, particularly because the author is so open about his own fallibilities. From time to time it drops some bombshells as exemplified by the chapters about Lance Armstrong prepared me suitably for the news over the past 24hrs that Amstrong is no longer g...more
Claire Webster
Not the greatest work of literature ever, and betrays some signs of being put together rather hurriedly, but offers a fascinating and often hilarious insight into the life of the journalists whose job it is to follow and report the Tour de France. I particularly liked the candid photos and the sense you are left with that, despite the long drives, tedious launderette experiences and bizarre toilet arrangements, they all have a tremendous amount of fun.
I "met" Ned Boulting this summer watching ITV's Tour de France coverage--with his presentations, humor, and interviews, I would have assumed that he was a former cyclist, like Chris Boardman. His memoir to the contrary was quite fun to read. It is really for the die-hard Tour de France fan, but the book is a fun ride through some of the personalities, the logistics, and everything that goes on behind the scenes. It's a quick and fun read.
russell barnes
I really wished I read this during the actual Tour, as it felt a bit flat a few weeks later.

Partly this is due to the scattergun structure of Boulting's Tour memoirs, skipping forward and backwards in time, and from subject to subject. It is an interesting and fairly amusing read, but I suspect I would've liked it more a month ago, as I would've read any old cycling bobbins then...
Martin Mccann
This is a great insight into the big days and small banalities that make up the Tour de France. I read this book of over 300 pages in two sittings-it has been a while since I have done that eith a book. Funny, honest, excruciating-it elicits many emotions but unlike so much cycling writing, it is accessible to the curious first timer as well as the road cycling fanatic.
Andy Moore
A TV journalist who writes incredibly well. A good briefing document for people like me who are quickly becoming fascinated by Le Tour, warts and all.
Peter Nuttall
Mildly entertaining, but when a writer devotes a whole chapter to doing his laundry, it's a good indicator that the material is pretty thin. Which is a shame as Boulting's Real Peloton podcasts with Matt Rendell are never less than interesting. This however has far too much padding.

If you have watched the ITV Tour de France coverage over the years then this is definitely the book for you. Gives an entertaining and informative look behind the scenes of both the ITV team and the Tour itself. It was even more enjoyable as I read it during the 2012 Tour.
Paul Gonterman
All in all, it is a good read if you are looking to find out what the journalists covering the tour go through from day to day. I prefer cycling stories from the rider perspective. It does have a few stories that will make you laugh but it my opinion it was just average.
How I Won the Yellow Jumper is a humorous look at the Tour de France for non-cycling aficionados. If you're interested in the Tour there are better books to learn the tactics and history of the race. If you do like it, I would recommend the Real Peloton podcast.
A very enjoyable read. Light and easy to put down and then pick up again. I enjoyed his writing style and some of the anecdotes made me laugh out loud. It would be interesting to read an updated version after the Armstrong fiasco
Barry Bridges
For lovers of the Tour De France here's the race from a journalist's perspective. Funny and full of memories. A book to read in parts rather than one big rush to the finish line!!
Bill Shirley
It was a good insight in to life on the road following the tour, it does suffer now from finishing prior to the Armstrong full from grace and Wiggens and Froomes victories.
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