Best books about Tour de France

The Tour de France is underway July 4 through 26, giving us most of the entire month to follow each day’s stage throughout France. Here are eight books to put you right into the action on the course.

Rouleur Centenary Tour de France: 3404 kilometres, 21 stages, 21 stories
For the 100th anniversary of the Tour de France, acclaimed cycling magazine Rouler sent seven writers and photographers on the road at the Tour de France, each given three stages to record their individual takes on La Grande Boucle.

Slaying the Badger: Greg LeMond, Bernard Hinault, and the Greatest Tour de France by Richard Moore
Award-winning author traces the LeMond-Hinault rivalry that played out in the 1986 Tour de France.

Photo: Joe Shlabotnik/Flickr
Tour de France. Photo: Joe Shlabotnik/Flickr

The Shattered Peloton: The Devastating Impact of World War I on the Tour de France by Graham Healey
This book details the hellish events surrounding the 1914 race in what is called cycling’s golden era. As young cyclists set into the race course, the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand was ushering in the start of World War I.

Etape: 20 Great Stages from the Modern Tour de France by Richard Moore
In another Tour de France book from award-winning Moore collects first-person interviews with cycling greats to glimpse into the great Tour de France stages.

Bad Blood: The Secret Life of the Tour de France by Jeremy Whittle
The story of Whittle’s road from from Tour de Force super-fan to super-skeptic, and the scandals, doping and doping scandals within the sport.

French Revolutions: Cycling the Tour de France by Tim Moore
Determined to tackle the Tour de France, Moore sets out to do just that, resulting in this hilarious account of taking on all 2,256 miles of the race course in the weeks before the professionals officially begin.

Reckless: The Life and Times of Luis Ocana by Alasdair Fotheringham
A behind-the-scenes look at the 1971 Tour de France rivalry between Luis Ocaña and Eddy Merckx including a sudden lead in the Alps, and one of the worst crashes in Tour de France history.

Lanterne Rouge: The Last Man in the Tour de France by Max Leonard
A look into the range of stories around the sport’s surprisingly honorable position of last-place rider, while forcing the reader to re-examine what it means to really win or lose.

Skip your favorite? Let us know in the comments section so we can check it out.


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