Speed Read Tour de France

The History, Strategies and Intrigue Behind the World's Greatest Bicycle Race

Speed Read Tour de France
$19.99 / £12.99
Format: Paperback / softback, 160 Pages
ISBN: 9780760364475
Publisher: Motorbooks
Series: Speed Read
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This beautifully designed and illustrated essential guide to the Tour de France from Motorbooks' Speed Read series will make you an instant expert on its history, its winners and rivalries, the tactics necessary to win it, and the technology of its bicycles.

Le Tour has sometimes been called “chess on wheels” because of the complicated strategies used by the race's 22 teams and 176 riders. This book—written by award-winning cycling journalist John Wilcockson, who has covered the Tour 45 times—will help you understand those tactics, along with informing you about the race’s century-plus history, its famed winners and rivalries, and the technology that has gone into creating the modern racing bicycle and determining how today’s athletes train.

Among the questions answered are:
  • Who owns the Tour?
  • How are the course’s 21 stages selected?
  • What are the most famous mountain climbs?
  • How is the overall winner determined?
  • What is a peloton, a soigneur, or an echelon?
  • How big are the prizes?
  • What are time bonuses?
  • Who was the first American to compete in the Tour, and who was the first one to win it?
  • How fast do the racers go down mountain descents?
  • What speeds can the riders reach in sprint finishes?
  • Why are the teams known by the names of their sponsors and not their countries?
  • What do the riders eat, and where do they sleep every night?
  • What are all those motorcycles doing among the cyclists?
  • How do the organizers deal with doping scandals?
  • And is it true that, one year, the top four finishers were all disqualified?
You will find the answers to all these questions, and many more, in this informative, beautifully illustrated, fun-to-read book: Speed Read Tour de France.

With Motorbooks’ Speed Read series, become an instant expert in a range of fast-moving subjects, from Formula 1 racing to car design. Accessible language, compartmentalized sections, fact-filled sidebars, glossaries of key terms, and event timelines deliver quick access to insider knowledge. Their brightly colored covers, modern design, pop art–inspired illustrations, and handy size make them perfect on-the-go reads.

The author

John Wilcockson has covered the Tour de France 45 times and written more than a dozen books. In 2017, he received the AIJC’s Outstanding Achievement in the field of Cycling Journalism Award. Wilcockson has been the editor-in-chief of five cycling magazines, including VeloNews and Winning: Bicycle Racing Illustrated, and he is currently editor-at-large of Peloton Magazine. He was the first cycling correspondent for The Times and The Sunday Times of London; he has contributed to publications as diverse as Outside, Men’s Journal, The New York Times, and The Guardian; and he has appeared frequently on national TV news programs, including CNN, MSNBC, ESPN, ABC, and NBC. His most successful books include John Wilcockson’s World of Cycling, 23 Days in July (an ESPN Book of the Year), and Lance (a New York Times bestseller). He lives in Boulder, Colorado.

Reader reviews


Format: Paperback / softback, 160 Pages
ISBN: 9780760364475
Illustrations: 60 color photos
Size: 6.69 in x 8.86 in / 169.93 mm x 225.04 mm

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