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Tour de France: The History, the Legend, the Riders
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Tour de France: The History, the Legend, the Riders

3.12  ·  Rating Details  ·  67 Ratings  ·  13 Reviews
One of sport's toughest ordeals, the three-week Tour de France sees riders pitted against all kinds of terrain and weather in unrelenting competition with their rivals. This updated edition gives compelling insight into the mystique of the race and the unique fascination it has always held for devoted bike fans and occasional enthusiasts alike. Setting the 2007 race in the ...more
Paperback, 412 pages
Published January 1st 2008 by Mainstream Publishing (first published May 1st 1999)
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(showing 1-30 of 124)
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Michael
Dec 30, 2009 Michael rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dnf
A rambling overview of the Tour's history. Fife doesn't handle the early history very well. He jumps around and doesn't know how to tell a story. It gets better as he starts to review the modern Tour, beginning with 1998 or so (around page 200). His editors should have cut the first 200 pages.
David
May 25, 2010 David rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A decent primer on "the big loop", a bit of a page turner at the beginning, but by the end I couldn't wait to finish the damned thing.

It's poorly written (ahem - editor, please?) to the point that it's literally impossible to follow the narrative - partly because each chapter is littered with irrelevant, self-absorbed meanderings on his dinner, or his ride up a col, or whether the sheets in his hotel were soft enough.

Add to that his high-horse bloviating and egregious attacks on American riders
...more
Jrfoxon
Really enjoyed the authors description of his own experiences climbing the mountains and the way these were interwoven with facts from the history of the tour. The later year-by-year additions, while interesting, weren't quite so enjoyable.
T100martin
Mar 30, 2013 T100martin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A long book.
The author interweaves his own experiences of cycling the great climbs with accounts of the history of the event since it's inception in 1903.
For me, his accounts of his ascents are a distraction, but the book gives a very thorough account of the history of the most grueling race the sport has.
Having said that, the edition I read is a few years old now, I believe the latest was published in 2011, I'm sure there are a lot of inconsistencies with what we have since learnt of the antics
...more
Martin Bacon
I nearly gave this book three stars because it is filled with some fascinating accounts of the personal struggles and achievements of the riders of the Tour de France and at times really captures the imagination. Mr. Fife really has done his research. However, the book becomes a bit of a ramble. No doubt Mr. Fife has literary talent but in this book he fails to focus that talent. I'm an avid reader and rarely have to re-read things but the book is strewn with digressions that often make you feel ...more
Garrett Burnett
Aug 12, 2011 Garrett Burnett rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sports
Fife divides many of the chapters in this book by mountains that show up in the Tour de France. He doesn't really stick to stories about rides up or down that mountain, or even to stories involving the Tour. He intersperses some of his own touring experiences with passionate, breathless descriptions of heroic performances. He celebrates bravado and anything Eddie Merckx ever did and chastises uninspired, robotic riding (which routine disdainfully tacks on Indurain). Fife writes fast, lively pros ...more
Nic Margett
I picked this up cheap in a charity shop as i've been a fan of Le Tour for quite a number of years and I was looking for some interesting history of the race. There's no doubt that's what is contained here, but the writing was usually hard to follow. Swinging between years, riders, teams and stages, there are some interesting anecdotes and I did get what I wanted really, but it was just not coherent enough in the end. I really struggled to finish the book, especially once it got to the individua ...more
Ryan
Jul 10, 2010 Ryan rated it liked it
Shelves: sports, cycling
It's tour time. Brushing up on my history.

A bit too much repetition - how often do we need to hear that Anquetil was a bastard that cared only for winning, in contrast to Poulidor, the eternal second with so much class - but well done. As a chronology or a reference, it is insufficient. This is more anecdotes strung along a personal history of encounters with the great climbs of the Alps and the Pyrenees. But Fife is an engaging story teller.
Patrick
a lot of interesting history of the tour but the descriptions of the author riding the various stages himself were beyond tedious .
Michael Szpir
Dec 08, 2010 Michael Szpir rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dnf
A rambling overview of the Tour's history. Fife doesn't handle the early history very well. He jumps around and doesn't know how to tell a story. It gets better as he starts to review the modern Tour, beginning with 1998 or so (around page 200). His editors should have cut the first 200 pages.
Penn
Jul 19, 2012 Penn rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2012
Fife uses his journey climbing the most famous Col's to tell some of the great Tour de France stories. He also recounts the last 10 tour's in detail.
This is a big book - too big - with plenty of tales of extraordinary physical feats and legendary characters.
ChristinaJL
Jul 28, 2011 ChristinaJL rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to ChristinaJL by: Dave Harmon
Shelves: cycling
Some interesting stories in this book, but it does jump about a bit and is by no means a comprehensive history of the TdF. Easy and quick to read though.
Simon
Oct 01, 2012 Simon rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sport
Bought it in Stratford on Avon. Read it in the bath.
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