Born of tumult in 1909, the Giro d'Italia helped unite a nation. Since then, it has reflected it's home country—the Giro's capricious and unpredictable nature matches the passions and extremes of Italy itself.
A desperately hard race through a beautiful country, the Giro has bred characters and stories that dramatize the shifting culture and society of its home. There was Alfonsina Strada, who cropped her hair and raced against the men in 1924, or Ottavio Bottecchia, expected to challenge for the winner's "Maglia Rosa," the famed pink jersey, in 1928, until he was killed on a training ride—most likely by Mussolini's Black Shirts. And what would a book about the Giro d'Italia be without Fausto Coppi, the metropolitan playboy with amphetamines in his veins, guided by a mystic blind masseur, who seemed to glide up the peaks. But let us not forget his arch rival Gino Bartali—humble, pious and brave. It recently emerged that he smuggled papers for persecuted Jewish Italians. Then there is the Giro's most tragic hero, Marco Pantani, born to climb but fated to lose.
Halted only by World Wars, the Giro has been contested for over a century, and The Beautiful Race is a richly written celebration of this legendary race.
Twelve years after Tim Moore toiled around the route of the Tour de France, he senses his achievement being undermined by the truth about 'Horrid Lance'. His rash response is to take on a fearsome challenge from an age of untarnished heroes: the notorious 1914 Giro d'Italia. History's most appalling bike race was an ordeal of 400-kilometer stages, filled with cataclysmic storms, roads strewn with nails, and even the loss of an eye by one competitor—and it was all on a diet of raw eggs and red wine.
Of the eighty-one riders who rolled out of Milan, only eight made it back. To truly capture the essence of what these riders endured a century ago, Tim acquires the ruined husk of a gear-less, wooden-wheeled 1914 road bike, some maps, and an alarming period outfit topped off with a pair of blue-lensed welding goggles. As Moore rides up and over the Alps and then down to the Adriatic (with only wine corks for breaks) Gironimo! is an adventure that is by turns recklessly incompetent, bold, beautiful and madly inspiring.
Technology may advance, training and diet may evolve, but these mountains are constant. They have witnessed triumph and despair, courage and heartache, they are where champions are made and where dreams are shattered. And yes, the greatest arenas of the world’ s greatest race are open 365 days a year for every one of us to ride.
So take up the challenge, emulate your heroes and make your mark on the 100 greatest cycling climbs of the Tour de France.
For each of the 100 climbs this guide includes:A detailed description of theclimb with an accompanying photograph A map detailing the start and end of the climb with directions to help you find it. A factfile with altitude, height gain, average gradient, it’ s tour debut and category A difficulty rating
Simon Warren is the author of 100 Greatest Cycling Climbs, Hellingen:A Road Cyclist's Guide to Belgium's Greatest Cycling Climbs and Another 100 Greatest Cycling Climbs
Featuring exclusive interviews with the Tour's legends and scoundrels about their best-ever day on the bike (and their most heartbreaking defeats), Moore unravels lingering mysteries and recounts strange tales from 20 great stages of the Tour: LeMond's impossible return from near-death, Schleck's primal scream atop the Galibier, Merckx's self-described toughest Tour, Cav's mind-bending victory in Aubenas, Hinault's hellish battle with Fignon.
Etape assembles the greatest days of modern Tour history into a Tour de France of incredible victory, glorious failure, shocking revelation, and beautiful memories. In the words of those who were there, Etape recreates each day vividly and reveals the beauty and the madness of cycling's greatest race.
What is it like to be swept along at 60kmh in the middle of the pack? What happens to the body during a high-speed chute? What tactics must teams employ to win the day, the jersey, the grand tour? What sacrifices must a cyclist make to reach the highest levels? What is it like on the bus? In the hotels? What camaraderie is built in the confines of a team? What rivalries? How does it feel to be constantly on the road, away from loved ones, tasting one more calorie-counted hotel breakfast?
David Millar offers us a unique insight into the mind of a professional cyclist during his last year before retirement. Over the course of a season on the World Tour, Millar puts us in touch with the sights, smells and sounds of the sport. This is a book about youth and age, fresh-faced excitement and hard-earned experience. It is a love letter to cycling.
'Cycling has always been about a great deal more than its winners, and The Racer is quite a ride' Spectator
One of only five Britons to wear the yellow jersey in the Tour de France, Sean Yates burst onto the cycling scene as the rawest pure talent this country has ever seen. After turning professional at the age of 22, he soon became known as a die-hard domestique, putting his body on the line for his teammates. Devastatingly fast, powerful and a fearless competitor, Yates won a stage of the Tour, as well as the Vuelta a España, in 1988, and went on to don the coveted maillot jaune six years later.
Having put British cycling on the map as a rider, Yates was soon in demand as a directeur sportif, using his tactical knowledge to inspire a new generation of cyclists to success. And after Team Sky came calling, Yates was the man to design the brilliant plan that saw Sky demolish the opposition in 2012, and for Bradley Wiggins to become the first cyclist from these shores to win the Tour.
Straight-talking, entertaining and revelatory, It's All About the Bike is the story of a remarkable career told from the unique perspective of a man who is immersed in the history of the sport he loves.
Each stage includes detail on the actual route (with maps and profile), length, height, and compelling descriptions focussing on all the main points of interest along the route.
Ultimate Etape is a book for cyclists of all abilities - from experienced club racers to enthusiastic amateurs who might just want to take on one great cycle etape. Packed with practical route information and advice on each route, Pete Cossin's beautifully written text explains why each stage merits inclusion with superb descriptions of the majestic scenery, the heroic deeds of cycling's legendary riders or the sheer endeavour and exhilaration of completing a stage.