The First Tour de France: Sixty Cyclists and Nineteen Days of Daring on the Road to Paris (Compact Disc)

The First Tour de France: Sixty Cyclists and Nineteen Days of Daring on the Road to Paris By Peter Cossins Cover Image
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Description


The first Tour De France was a far cry from the polished international sporting event we see on television today. Organized by the financially free falling L'Auto magazine, the desperate editors thought that organizing a grand cycling tour was the only thing that could save their publication. But in 1903, cyclists weren't enthusiastic about what was pitched to them as a heroic race through roads more suited to hooves than wheels, with bikes weighing up to forty-four pounds, on a single fixed gear, for three full weeks. Assembling enough riders for the race meant bribing unemployed laborers from the suburbs of Paris, including a butcher, a blacksmith, a chimney sweep, and a wrestler. Through these characters backstories, Cossins paints a nuanced portrait of France in the early 1900's. The race itself is packed with mishaps and adventure--in part due to the fact that water was scarce at the time, so the men drank wine and beer throughout, often keeling over from their bicycles in a drunken stupor. There was no indication that a ramshackle cycling pack would draw crowds to throng France's rutted roads and cheer the first Tour heroes. But they did, and cycling would never be the same again.


Product Details
ISBN: 9781478950165
ISBN-10: 1478950161
Publisher: Nation Books
Publication Date: June 6th, 2017
Language: English