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Tour Climbs: The complete guide to every mountain stage on the Tour de France [Paperback]

Chris Sidwells
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
RRP: 19.99
Price: 15.10 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

28 May 2009

The first book to cover in detail every major climb ever used in the Tour de France, including detail on the actual route (with maps and profile), length, height, list of winners and route descriptions of how to emulate the King of the Mountains and get from the bottom to the top.

Every year the Tour de France is said to only really start when it reaches the first mountain stages: the drama of the race only really begins as the climbers take over in the Pyrenees, Vosges or Alps. The Tour is also the most famous classic in cycling and draws huge audiences to the TV and internet coverage (the official web site holds the world record for number of hits excluding search engines).
But the route of the Tour is not just for professionals. A growing number of people now take their bikes and actually do a stage of the Tour (the Etap - for amateurs, which this year attracted 8,000 people to climb one of the hardest mountain stages in the Tour) or spend a week doing some of the more notorious climbs (Ventoux - where Tommy Simpson died in the 50s).
This book is for everyone who watches the Tour and has even the slightest of an inkling that they'd like to do at least one of the climbs. Packed with information on each climb, this is the ultimate guide to the Tour climbs, which will remain important for many years to come (the Tour only uses a set number of climbs, which they return to every couple of years).
Contents - Eastern Pyrenees, Central Pyrenees, Western Pyrenees, Vosges & Jura, Massif & Cevennes, Northern Alps, Central Alps and Southern Alps

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Frequently Bought Together

Tour Climbs: The complete guide to every mountain stage on the Tour de France + Mountain High: Europe's 50 Greatest Cycle Climbs + 100 Greatest Cycling Climbs: A Road Cyclist's Guide to Britain's Hills
Price For All Three: 36.60

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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Collins (28 May 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 000731521X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007315215
  • Product Dimensions: 25.1 x 28.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 308,664 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Chris Sidwells is a best-selling author, journalist, photographer and broadcaster, reporting on every aspect of cycling and fitness. His work has featured in Cycle Sport, Cycling Weekly, Men's Fitness and GQ and he is the author of Cyclosportive, A Race for Madmen and Complete Bike Book.

Product Description

About the Author

Chris Sidwells is a bestselling author, journalist, photographer and broadcaster; a writer of books, magazine and newspaper features on every aspect of cycling and fitness.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Stumbling in the foothills 26 Jun 2008
The previous four reviwers have picked up about 20 major deficiencies and it's hard to contest any of them. Many sentences have to be re-read to extract the meaning intended - can the editor be blamed for all this? The squiggle "maps", the lack of profile and any aids to locate the climbs really mitigate against the usefulness of such a book. Average and maximum gradient do not characterise a climb. The Tour system of categories could have easily been provided. The photos are mostly good but the summits of climbs don't feature. Signs, buildings, plaques reveal much and is what you want to see when you get to the top. For the record the highest road in Europe (page 230) is "a road in Spain's Sierra Nevada", more specifically Pico Valeta. Height of at least 3402m (Michelin map of Spain) makes the book in error by 1000ft. Finally the sleave suggests that the book will help you to climb the roads yourself and fit them into itineraries. I feel this is outside the scope of a coffee table book, but any case there is not much help offered. Weather trends, best maps, support, the bike itself, feeding stations, escape routes are more useful than dangerous romantic notions.
The climb star ratings (where given) and index are both well done and useful.
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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars No profiles, v.poor maps, v. poor tour history 17 Jun 2008
Hmmmmm!!! Yes this book does list all of the Tour climbs and gives some nice anecdotes on each ones history and some nice pictures but it should have been so, so much more.

The "maps" advertised on the back of the book are no more than simple diagrams, the history of the climb is almost non-existent and worst of all there are no climb profiles!!

Bring out a book with decent maps, profiles, a list of stages/tours they featured in, their category and who won on them (mountain top finishes) and perhaps then you'd have a book work shelling 25 out for - disappointing....
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Coffee table rather than useful reference 12 Aug 2008
By ricadus
Best things about this book are the page size (large), the typographic layout (stylish yet well-ordered) and that it is printed in full colour throughout, unlike cycling books by cash-strapped smaller publishers.

As mentioned, the text layout is well structured, with each climb having an introductory side-column of information listing the perceived relative difficulty, length, average gradients, etc, in addition to the main text that deals with the description and Tour history aspects.

However it was a fatal mistake by the publisher and/or author to not include proper maps and gradient profiles. There's a kind of whispy-looking doodle of a map for each climb, placed in the margins of the pages, but the twistiness of a route is less important to riders hauling their weight uphill than knowing more precisely how steep it is going to be at various points and where the changes of gradient pitch will occur. By omitting the potentially useful diagrams that are promised in the sales blurb (see the Product Description) the book has been relegated to the level of a mere coffee table book, rather than the useful reference tool that it could have been. It should have been both really.

I'll skip the copy-editing deficiencies, except to say that these are embarrassing evidence of insufficient time being allowed for proof-reading and corrections.

A lesser complaint is the quality of some of the photographs, which sometimes look over-exposed. In some cases the images look like they have been scanned from low budget prints. I know it can be difficult to photograph a scene in harsh bright summer sunlight on these mountains, where there are extremes of light and shade, but I wish a bit of time was spent doing some digital correction work to hide the technical defects.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Rather disappointing 6 Jun 2008
By Miceal
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
First, I have never seen such a badly-edited book from a mainstream publisher. The copy-editor should simply be fired. There is barely a page without a spelling mistake, punctuation howler or stylistic blunder. I was resigned to this by the time I arrived at page 26 to find a cross-head instruction remaining on the page, but the mistakes just kept mounting up. Perhaps other readers will be less sensitive. The author has been let down by his editor, presumably to ensure the book is out in time for this year's Tour.

Second, the squiggles that pass for 'maps' are pointless. It would have been much better to pay the copyright fee and use maps like the one on the back of the dustjacket (which is a little misleading: don't expect more of these inside).

Third, regional maps with a numbered key to the climbs in each chapter would have helped the reader locate each climb on a regional road map.

Fourth, the heavy, coffee-table format and glossy production work are not in keeping with the practical aspects of the text. There are masses of photographs, a lot of them beautiful but a lot of them pointless. Many of these could have been discarded and a smaller, lighter book would have been the result. Touring cyclists will not be able to pack this book for the journey.

The author evidently knows his stuff, but has been let down by the publisher. A clearer focus on what this book was intended for could have made it of much more practical value.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Could be better
The problem with this book is that the publisher missed an opportunity by wasting lots of space, useless maps and poor indexing. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Mr. Peter Crosland
5.0 out of 5 stars A book to dream
A really nice book to dream about climbing in the mountain, I would not say a guide as it is not a real guide more a coffee table book!
Published 6 months ago by Francesco
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Reference For All The Classic Climbs
A really nicely laid out and very informative book on some of the great classic alpine climbs. Would have received a Five Stars if had included gradient profiles similar to... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Mark
3.0 out of 5 stars Tour Climbs
Tour Climbs is a good book that could do with a bit more detail as well as more photos .
Published 9 months ago by David Parker
4.0 out of 5 stars It could have been 5 stars
A very useful and informative book that is well written and thought out. The only drawback is that the searchable index isn't and it took a long time for me to know where in the... Read more
Published 10 months ago by IAN LAKEN
5.0 out of 5 stars Good stuff
Got this for my son who is seriously into cycle racing. He loves it and is using it to plan a trip to France to have a go at some of the climbs
Published 12 months ago by Bill1
4.0 out of 5 stars Tour Climbs
Bought as a present for a very enthusiastic Tour de France follower, who has not stopped praising the photographs and articles.
Published 18 months ago by Leonard MORRIS
4.0 out of 5 stars cycle widow
Excellent book for all Tour fanatics. Watch the climbs on TV whilst following all the details in the book. Read more
Published on 13 Jan 2012 by incapacitated wife
1.0 out of 5 stars where is the real information?
Sorry to say, this book is frustrating and disappointing, so much unfulfilled potential. The lack of any maps or profiles seems a big omission to any book claiming to be a guide. Read more
Published on 12 Dec 2011 by alex g
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning pictures of high quality and very good value at 11
Having recently bought this for a friend, I felt the urge to write a short review in order to praise the book and its author. Read more
Published on 30 Nov 2011 by angus
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