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Tour Climbs: The complete guide to every mountain stage on the Tour de France Hardcover – 23 May 2013

39 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: HarperSport (23 May 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007512309
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007512300
  • Product Dimensions: 25.2 x 3.4 x 28.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 300,007 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

3.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Mr. S. M. Collins on 26 Jun. 2008
Format: Hardcover
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 By Frustrated Climber on 17 Jun. 2008
Format: Hardcover
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 By ricadus on 12 Aug. 2008
Format: Hardcover
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 By Miceal on 6 Jun. 2008
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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