Let Svend Novrup take you through cycling drama of the highest caliber in his Tour De France tales. From winner to loser gaps of 21 hours, a rider overtaking the race director's car, and an elimination race to narrow down contestants, you'll be captivated from the first page.
From the book's jacket:
THE TOUR DE FRANCE.
Once experienced, never forgotten. What cycling enthusiast, Francophile or sports fan is not captivated by its' history, spirit, and personalities. Since 1903, the great riders and their struggles against each other have taken centre stage, but yet there are the domestiques, so rarely documented in the history books, who make up the story, and other characters who provide the incidents which prove that reality exceeds fantasy.
Who was this man Christophe who had to repair his own bike three times?
Who was the Italian who won the Tour and was subsequently found dead in a
vineyard? Is it really possible that the Algerian rider drank wine, slept for two
hours and then rode in the wrong direction - something which subsequently
made him rich? Was it equally easy for all the riders who have won the Tour five
times - and why did "il campionissimo", Fausto Coppi only win it twice? How did
you even ride the Tour de France in 1903 when the roads were so primitive, and
the bike had hardly been invented - it didn't even have gears or free wheels?
Some of the myths and legends that make the Tour such a unique sporting
event are revealed here and the characters and personalities have been chosen
more for their stories, than their sheer cycling ability.
Apart from a colourful summary of important developments in the Tour, and
the jersey winners, it is the tales that dominate these pages. You get around
all France, from the flat roads to the highest mountains and you follow cycling
heros from several nations.
You learn how the race was born in a magazine office. You get to know the
Count who took the stage with two domestiques, a lunch basket, and delicious
wines; and the rider who had to be disguised to avoid being lynched by the inhabitants of Rouen. The book is richly illustrated with photos not only showing the famous stars but giving you an impression of the spirit of the times, the road conditions, the mountains, the sufferings, the triumphs and the drama.