The Works: The Official Treasures Of Le Tour de France

The Works: The Official Treasures Of Le Tour de France

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If you’re looking for doping scandals, controversy, or lanky Brits with questionable dress sense calling people wankers, then this book is not for you. If you are looking for a comprehensive collection of memorabilia and interesting tidbits on the history of the world’s largest sporting event, then look no further than this beautifully presented tome.

This is one for the collector, an aficionado of cycling and the Tour in particular. While it may not be the glossiest or flashiest looking book out there, the amount of information offered is staggering, and for those wanting to impress their friends with factoids it’s hard to go past. The history of the race is covered from the very beginning right up to 2009. My copy is the 4th edition, and apparently the 5th edition will be released in August; whether or not it will cover this year’s race I don’t know.

While there is a veritable tonne of reading, the real beauty of the book is the various inserted facsimilies of old postcards, posters, fan cards, race routes, race rules, even material from the promotional caravans like paper hats and pop up masks of the heroes of the day. Some of the posters would look great framed and mounted in the pool room, or just left in their jackets in the book and taken out for perusal at your leisure.

Although I said there are no doping scandals in the book, the Festina and Landis affairs are touched on, and ‘The Indurain Era’ and ‘The Armstrong Era’ get a couple of pages each too, and while never delving too deep into the semantics there are certainly allusions to the changing face of cycling in those years. All the great riders are featured, all the famous stages, the various competitions explained and everything you need to know or never knew is here.

I was given the book by a friend who isn’t into cycling at all, and even she got a kick out of opening up the little envelopes and folders to see what hid within. And if you don’t read French, there is also a translation booklet to decipher all the Gallic text on the reproductions of the letters and cards, some written by Henri Desgranges himself. And the foreword is courtesy of The Badger, Bernard Hinault.

This is a great addition to any cycling fan’s bookshelf or coffee table.

Le Tour de France, The Official Treasures. By Serge Laget and Luke Edwards-Evans. Carlton Press.

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// Book Review // The Works

  1. Interesting that COTHO isn’t on the cover. As far as I can see it’s Contador, LeMond, Indurain, Merckx, Hinault, Thevenet, Anquetil, Coppi and Robic. The 7-time winner isn’t there at all. Hmmmmm . . .

  2. 5th edition is on my Amazonwith list. Thanks for letting us know about this.

  3. Got this for my Dad for his Birthday last year, he loved it – he goes back as far as most of the memorabilia!

    Reminded me of the original vinyl copy of Who Live at Leeds which was full of interesting stuff like bills for breaking things etc. In their day they could behave like badly dressed wankers with the best of them.

  4. @Mark1

    Actually, the Who dressed like total badasses.

    Though I had not realized how much Townsend looks like Wiggins (or the other way around, probably.)

  5. @wiscot Yet Contador is. Hmmm, superb double standard.

  6. woah weirdly i just got the 2007 eduition of this used”, in 100% new unopened mint condition. its the best.

  7. Love to get my hands on that piece of TdF treasure!

    Speaking of TdF treasures, has anyone heard this guys tunes?

  8. You get to work, you wonder what has been posted on THE cycling site/forum and boom! You see something you have to have, and a pic of your favourite band. I am in the right place ty.

  9. Recently finished “A Race for Mad Men” …. excellent history of the Tour from the start, so much so I read it in 2 days….

  10. John Entwhistle was the coolest bass player ever.period. We would not have the Marshall Stack if it weren’t for Townsend and Entwhistle.

  11. @sthilzy

    Wow.  Just wow.

    Although he had a #1 hit in the US in 1939… http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Will_Glah%C3%A9

  12. @frank

    @Mark1

    Actually, the Who dressed like total badasses.

    Though I had not realized how much Townsend looks like Wiggins (or the other way around, probably.)

    um…do you mean roger daltrey?

  13. @Deakus

    Recently finished “A Race for Mad Men” …. excellent history of the Tour from the start, so much so I read it in 2 days….

    that is one of the next books on my list….i can’t wait to read it

  14. @Marko

    He definitely went out with a bang.

  15. @sgt

    @sthilzy

    Wow.  Just wow.

    Although he had a #1 hit in the US in 1939… http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Will_Glah%C3%A9

    Beer Barrel Polka – Who wudda thunk that?

    BTW – Two months from peaking!

  16. Wow! That might be the most impressive cheeseburger locker I’ve ever seen! Great place to hold your beer.

    Nice one, brett! Book looks pretty awesome. One of the local uni libraries has a pretty darn good collection of cycling and TdF books – I’ll have to hope they add this one to their shelves.

  17. @silkrider

    @frank

    @Mark1

    Actually, the Who dressed like total badasses.

    Though I had not realized how much Townsend looks like Wiggins (or the other way around, probably.)

    um…do you mean roger daltrey?

    Paul Weller surely.

  18. @frank

    @Mark1

    Actually, the Who dressed like total badasses.

    Though I had not realized how much Townsend looks like Wiggins (or the other way around, probably.)

    Agreed – once they realised they were a rock’n’roll group!

  19. Want.

  20. Just saw the 2012 version of this in my LBS (book not bike) and they’ve replaced Clebutador with Cav as the final rider, shame they didn’t choose Good Cadel

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