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The Tour De France Companion: A Nuts & Bolts (and Spokes) Guide to the Greatest Race in the World

Overview


We all know about Lance Armstrong, who this summer made history by being the first rider ever to win a sixth Tour de France. But what about the peloton and the role it plays in supporting the leader? What about the difference between a stage win and a time trial? What about the Tour's curiously chivalric code of behavior? What about the caravan?

With the popularity of Armstrong and the Tour outstripping our knowledge of bicycle racing, here is The Tour de France Companion, a ...

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Overview


We all know about Lance Armstrong, who this summer made history by being the first rider ever to win a sixth Tour de France. But what about the peloton and the role it plays in supporting the leader? What about the difference between a stage win and a time trial? What about the Tour's curiously chivalric code of behavior? What about the caravan?

With the popularity of Armstrong and the Tour outstripping our knowledge of bicycle racing, here is The Tour de France Companion, a fully illustrated primer that explains the strategies, ground rules, history, personalities, techniques, and technology behind one of the world's most spectacular and brutal sporting events. It's all clear: How teams work together. How their bikes are different from our bikes. What it takes to be a racer--the rare combination of slow- and fast-twitch muscles, a huge cardiovascular system, and an extraordinary toughness that allows you to endure more pain than your rivals. The jerseys: yellow, green, polka-dot, white, and the "combativity prize" to the rider who tries the hardest (look for a red race number). The complicated timing structure, including why it's so difficult to finish a tour--every rider must finish within ten percent or so of the fastest guy every single day, or head for home. Even what happens when the leader needs to make a rest stop--no, the other contenders don't zoom off into the sunset. Includes a glossary, stats, historic timeline, 2004 tour map, and more.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780761135203
  • Publisher: Workman Publishing Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 5/1/2004
  • Pages: 192
  • Product dimensions: 5.30 (w) x 8.22 (h) x 0.48 (d)

Meet the Author


Dan Koeppel has been writing for more than 20 years about bikes, bike racing, and outdoor adventure for National Geographic Adventure, Bicycling, Men’s Journal, and ESPN: The Magazine. He was inducted into the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame in 2003.

Bob Roll, known to racing fans as Bobke (boob-ka), is a former Tour de France racer and member of the U.S. Cycling Hall of Fame. He is the author of two books on the wild side of racing, Bobke and Bobke II, and is a wildly popular bicycling commentator for the Outdoor Life Network.

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Table of Contents

2004 Tour de France Crib Sheet 1
Foreword 6
Introduction: A Fine Fast Madness 9
1. C'est Le Tour 19
16 Reasons Why the Tour de France Is Better Than the Super Bowl 24
The Ten Big Questions About Strategy (with Answers) 40
2. A Century of Glorious Cruelty 47
Tragedies of the Tour 54
3. Not-So-Easy Riders 65
Time Trial of the Century 70
4. Of Bikes and Men 75
The Bike's Murky Birth 80
Bike Talk 84
5. How to Win in 12 Impossible Steps 89
Hail to the Loser! 98
6. Climb and Punishment 103
Five Legendary Climbs 110
Know the Score 114
7. Tour de France Confidential 121
8. Audience Participation 133
9. Bob Roll's Unauthorized, Unexpurgated Tour de France Alphabet 143
More Nuts & Bolts
To Find Out More About the Tour 158
The Ultimate Tour de France Time Line 160
Glossary: 20 Essential Terms 165
Tour de France Records 166
Bibliography 170
Photo Credits 172
About the Authors 173
Index 174
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 23, 2004

    A nice primer on the Tour de France!

    This short book is a great introduction to the classic bicycle race around France. Full of definitions and trivia with which you can dazzle your friends, the book also gives the reader a sense of the incredible athletic achievement of these cyclists.

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