Le Tour by Geoffrey Wheatcroft Book PDF Summary
When Henri Desgrange began a new bicycle road race in 1903, he saw it as little more than a temporary publicity stunt to promote his newspaper. The 60 cyclists who left Paris to ride through the night to Lyons that first July had little idea they were pioneers of the most famous of all bike races, which would reach its centenary as one of the greatest sporting events on earth. Geoffrey Wheatcroft's masterly history of the Tour de France's first hundred years is not just a hugely entertaining canter through some great Tour stories; nor is it merely a homage to the riders whose names—Coppi, Simpson, Mercx, Armstrong—are synonymous with the event's folly and glory. Focusing too on the race's role in French cultural life, it provides a unique and fascinating insight into Europe's 20th century.