At the end of each day of the Tour de France, the race leader is presented with a yellow racing jersey: the prestigious Maillot Jaune. This treasured emblem has been worn by 227 cyclists in the past 82 years. Some of them led the race just for a day, while others including current champion Lance Armstrong have defended the race lead day after day.
In this colorful coffee-table book, French historian Jean-Paul Ollivier offers a dramatic mix of anecdote and history beginning with Eugene Christophe, the jersey's first recipient in 1919. (Yellow was used because it was the color of the sports newspaper, L'Auto, that sponsored the race.) Ollivier features the one-timers and the recurring champs, from legends like Italy's Gino Bartali to the first American in yellow, Greg LeMond. Included are gripping stories of riders who lost the jersey because of crashes, injury, or illness; and a chart listing all the jersey's holders and the number of times they led the race.