From the Library: Tour de France...


So I walked back to the sports aisle at the local bookstore where, facing out at me was that cover photo of Thomas Voeckler. I thought, "nice, a new Tour de France book", after all it is not everyday that a cycling book makes its way to the shelves of the "other" LBS (local book shop). Somehow I failed to realize that I was being duped; that old publisher trick of inserting a different cover photo caught me off guard. Indeed you can fool me once. Yes, the home library already contains an earlier edition of Graeme Fife's Tour de France (which I, somehow, never got around to reviewing).

This latest revised edition brings the story of the world's best known cycling race up to the finish of the 2011 battle, so there is new information, new story, even some new photos. The previous edition carried the story through to the 2007 Tour; whether the addition of four more years warrants the outlay of another 20 bucks is something everyone will need to decide for themselves.

Fife's Afterword and Mythology is half new, half repeat - the Mythology is a simple copy from the previous edition. The Afterword recounts some of the authors' rides through the Pyrenees, connecting places and riders along the way. Honestly, I would like to read more of this type of stuff by Fife - while the value of the historical information is without question, the personal stories seem more compelling to me.

Pretty well a must-have for its in-depth review and history of the Tour; fair reading in the moment, great source of information and reference for later.

Fife, Graham   Tour de France: The History, The Legend, The Riders   Edinburgh: Mainstream Publishing, 2011

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