Jul 9, 2019
Join us today for a special episode of Book Bites, where we look at a topic for a little longer than usual.
This week, we look at books to celebrate the Tour de France. It will last from Jul 6 to Jul 28, 2019, covering 3,460 km (2,150 mi).
The First Tour de France: Sixty
Cyclists and Nineteen Days of Daring on the Road to Paris, by
"Starting in the Parisian suburb of
Montgeron, the route took the intrepid cyclists through Lyon, over
the hills to Marseille, then on to Toulouse, Bordeaux, and Nantes,
ending with great fanfare at the Parc des Princes in Paris. There
was no indication that this ramshackle cycling pack would draw
crowds to throng France's rutted roads and cheer the first Tour
heroes. But they did; and all thanks to a marketing ruse, cycling
would never be the same again."
French Revolutions: Cycling the Tour de France, by Tim Moore "French Revolutions gives us a hilariously unforgettable account of Moore's attempt to conquer the Tour de France. "Conquer" may not be quite the right word. He cheats when he can, pops the occasional hayfever pill for an ephedrine rush (a fine old Tour tradition), sips cheap wine from his water bottle, and occasionally weeps on the phone to his wife. But along the way he gives readers an account of the race's colorful history and greatest heroes: Eddy Merckx, Greg Lemond, Lance Armstrong, and even Firmin Lambot, aka the "Lucky Belgian," who won the race at the age of 36. Fans of the Tour de France will learn why the yellow jersey is yellow, and how cyclists learned to save precious seconds (a race that lasts for three weeks is all about split seconds) by relieving themselves en route. And if that isn't enough, his account of a rural France tarting itself up for its moment in the spotlight leaves popular quaint descriptions of small towns in Provence in the proverbial dust. If you either love or hate the French, or both, you'll want to travel along with Time Moore."
Lanterne Rouge: The Last Man in the
Tour de France, by Max Leonard " Froome, Wiggins, Mercks―we know
the winners of the Tour de France, but Lanterne Rouge
tells the forgotten, often inspirational and occasionally absurd
stories of the last-placed rider. We learn of stage winners and
former yellow jerseys who tasted life at the other end of the
bunch; the breakaway leader who stopped for a bottle of wine and
then took a wrong turn; the doper whose drug cocktail accidentally
slowed him down and the rider who was recognized as the most
combative despite finishing at the back. Max Leonard flips the Tour
de France on its head and examines what these stories tell us about
ourselves, the 99% who don't win the trophy, and forces us to
re-examine the meaning of success, failure and the very nature of
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