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How I Won the Yellow Jumper: Dispatches from the Tour de France (Yellow Jersey Cycling Classics) Paperback – 2 Jun 2011


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Product details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Yellow Jersey (2 Jun 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 022408335X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0224083355
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 2.4 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (106 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 146,756 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

"A candid, insightful and often hilarious account of how a one-off assignment became a lifetime obsession. Anyone who likes France, cycling, media coverage of sport, obsessives and above all the magic that is the Tour de France will enjoy this book" (Alastair Campbell)

"I thought Ned was an old hand at the Tour. Evidently he was clueless ... Told with panache" (David Millar)

"Lifts the lid on the dirty secrets, the secret shame, the flabby, overhanging underbelly of British TV coverage of the Tour de France. At last, a book about the Tour that's just plain fun" (Matt Rendell)

"Quirky, warped, enthusiastic and funny" (Chris Boardman)

"The Tour de France has inspired some brilliant writing over the years, and this book is right up there" (Adrian Chiles)

Book Description

A funny and frank account of falling in love with the Tour de France by television's quintessential roving reporter, Ned Boulting

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

47 of 48 people found the following review helpful By tsl04 on 7 Jun 2011
Format: Paperback
It took Ned Boulting two decades to graduate from commenting on potholes on Chiltern FM to reporting about the `yellow jumper' at the Tour de France. He has come a long way since those early days as a drowning Tour ingénue, and now knows everything there is to know about French service stations, cheap hotels and which yogurt-based drinks to avoid.

He has also learned a bit about cycling too. `How I Won The Yellow Jumper' is his story of the grind behind the glamour of covering cycling's biggest race. It is a tale of one man, a suitcase full of smelly socks and his noble steed, a battered Renault Espace, on an annual three-week odyssey from Grand Départ to Bedraggled Arrivée.

If you watch ITV's annual Tour coverage, you will be familiar with Boulting's dry style as he brings us short feature segments and gleans reactions from exhausted pedallers in the post-stage media melée in which pointy elbows and a willingness to stick your nose in where angels fear to tread are as vital tools of the trade as the ability to mangle a variety of European languages.

He is to Gary Imlach, ITV's inimitable and unfeasibly polished front-man, what Jens Voigt is to Andy Schleck. In his deceptively imitable every-man style, Boulting has carved out a niche as the team's super-domestique. He plays a vital role, putting in the hard kilometres that help make ITV's coverage so enjoyable.

Here Boulting conveys the real beauty of the Tour and why he has fallen in love with its utter lunacy. It is not about the stars who make the headlines, or the Alpine backdrops or the race's unerring capacity for human drama.
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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Big Jim TOP 100 REVIEWER on 10 Jun 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Ned (or is it Nick?) has become one of the voices of summer in our household as we follow the Tour de France avidly from the safety of our armchairs. This book isn't just about Ned's broadcasting, it's not a history of the last few years of the Tour, and it's not even about cycling, it's about the trials and tribulations of having to work in closely confined spaces, hotel foyers, chasing down the road after that killer interview, watching what you eat and how to deal with socks that have been rotting in a suitcase for three weeks. It's a slice of a surreal comedy played out in some of the most spectacular scenery in Europe, or indeed from some sports hall on an industrial estate. It's the grime behind the skirting board and the hard work that goes into making what appears to be seamless programming. It's a self-efacing gently humerous look at the madness of the Tour circus at least from the TV journalists' point of view. I'll look forward to this years instalment with more expectation than usual this year and with more understanding of what has gone on behind the scenes to get the action onto our screens.

Top notch entertainment all round
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By PT on 3 Jun 2011
Format: Paperback
Cycling is a slightly bizarre sport I guess, and this is a wonderfully funny and frank account of the extraordinary bike race that is the Tour de France.

Ned takes us from his first painful experiences as a bumbling, novice cycling reporter, through his love affair with the event, confronting the major issues on the way; drug scandals, Armstrong, finding launderettes on rest days, and just what the conversational etiquette should be when urinating in the open air.

This book is hugely accessible, the sport's serious and sometimes murky side is confronted properly, but before too long the narrative gently carries us off to slightly lighter concerns, like trying to pack a hot iron. Ned encounters the big names of the sport, and gives us the insiders view. We see his development alongside theirs, as well as meeting some of the more fascinating characters who keep the race ticking along, like Rudi the toilette tsar.

I really enjoyed this book from start to finish, the sort of book you don't want to rush, but that you read in the garden with a huge grin on your face. When I reached the end, not only was I laughing quite loudly in embarrassing fashion, but I also felt quite sad that Ned Boulting's insider account of eight years on tour was over. Superb.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By T. Wilkowski on 28 July 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Enjoyed all of this book; some of the pictures are badly printed however and you can barely make some of them out.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Andy20 on 12 Jun 2011
Format: Paperback
Essential reading for any British cycling fan whose annual Tour fix has been delivered so brilliantly by the ITV team over the last decade. For those who remember each summer not by Wimbledon champions or winners of the Claret Jug, but by recalling who was wearing yellow in Paris that year, this book provides a fascinating insight into the madness behind the spectacle.

Boulting has clearly fallen for the race, but his account is certainly not a rose-tinted view that overlooks cycling's deep-seated problems. This is the perfect read for the growing masses of British cycling fans that view the sport with a certain amount of scepticism, but cannot resist returning each July. Boulting indulges the reader with his experiences with the most fascinating characters in a sport not short on eccentrics. Wiggins, Cav, Armstrong, Landis et al get plenty of coverage, but what comes across most clearly is the sheer thrill of being a part of the ultimate sporting road trip. Great summer reading. Bring on July 2nd!
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