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4.7 out of 5 stars52
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 5 June 2014
Readers of Richard Moore's previous books will find more to savour here in a selection of compelling stories capturing key stages from the Tour.

It's typically well researched and detailed; painting a rich picture of stages I'd not seen and providing a new slant on those I thought I remembered well. Moore has spoken to many of the key protagonists and the book is the richer for it - the passing of time seemingly giving riders greater perspective on what happened.

Interesting but most of all entertaining, it's a great read about a complex race and the fascinating characters within it.

Highly recommended.
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on 10 June 2014
That Richard Moore can write exceptionally well about cycling is now surely beyond doubt and his recent forays into the even murkier world of athletics show that his skills also translate well to other subject matter. His previous books on cycling are a fascinating study on individuals or teams. The depth of his knowledge and research are brought to life by both his writing style and his ability to go beyond a simple factual account of historic events by drawing out the human side to each story. This all holds true in relation to this new book.

At the risk of stating the obvious (if you've already read the synopsis), Étape is like 20 books in one. Each chapter basically covers a stage or stages, chosen for their significance in the history of the last 40 years or so of the Tour.

While the sleeve notes include a roll call of some of the sport's most famous/infamous protagonists, this book also goes beyond them and shines a spotlight on some of the lesser known riders. The stories of these relatively uncelebrated cyclists are no less fascinating and in many ways it is easier for readers to connect with them as they disappear back into a "normal" life and virtual obscurity (...only to be disturbed periodically by the likes of Mr Moore!)

As for the likes of Armstrong, Hinault, Cavendish etc, most of the stories you would expect are covered. However, don't expect a simple rehash of old interviews and a narration of how the stages unfolded (frankly, anyone with access to YouTube and a keyboard could manage that). No, in this book Moore meets up with the central characters (in some unlikely places) in order to find new angles and tease out candid comments so that even close followers of cycling can delve deeper into who, why and how these events unfolded. These insights further illuminate each story, the plot of which might be familiar, but the detail and the circumstances surrounding them are, until now,less well known.

I'll resist the temptation to quote my favourite parts or include any spoilers, but look out for the Paris Roubaix quote from Theo de Rooy - for me it sums up the magic of cycling perfectly. Get hold of a copy and relive some amazing episodes from this incredible race.
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on 19 June 2014
Richard Moore’s new book Etape is a wonderfully enjoyable look at a number of individual stages of The Tour. He has taken an individual stage, in fact even a rest day, and taken a fresh look at what happened and why. Re-interviewing the protagonists, their stories are often different to the version of events told at the time. Hindsight is a wonderful thing and this book certainly capitalises from this.

A really great read and Richard’s enthusiasm and affection for the sport comes shines through as usual. A true delight not only for cycling fans, but anyone who loves sport.

wonderful !!
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on 4 July 2014
If you think you know Le Tour and competitive cycling, read this book and realise how hard it is to truly understand this game. Richard Moore provides wonderful glimpses into the deep complexities of this amazing sporting adventure. An absolute must for anyone interested in understanding what motivates the riders and fuels their passion.
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on 18 June 2014
Great book, antidote to the understandable cycnicism of the sport. Great stories, well told, by someone who clearly loves the sport, warts and all.
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on 9 August 2015
A really easy, enjoyable and interesting read. I have followed the Tour avidly for the last 5 years and felt I head a handle on it but the chapters in this book, while dealing with various individual stages, clarified and broadened my understanding of less well known aspects, such as the "Grupetto", appreciably and put flesh on the bones of many greats, many of whom I knew very little about. At the same time, Richard Moore revealed the failings and weaknesses of the big names while elevating the little known domestiques to new levels in my eyes. Perhaps dyed in the wool cycling enthusiasts know all the stories and characters involved and would think it a bit "light" but I would heartily recommend this book to anyone who has even a little knowledge about cycling or has an interest in finding out more about it.
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on 1 December 2015
Really enjoyed this book, gave a great snapshot of the TDF through the generations. to begin with I was expecting this to be a bit of a disjointed read with each chapter skipping to a totally differnt era and stage. However this is what actually makes the book, the diversity of the writing is enthralling. I knew a fair bit about the modern era of the event, but some of the stories and history of the event are simply amazing. A must read for any cycling fan or even if you are just into sports literature in general. I am now looking to explore the author further as this is definitely one you won't want to put down.
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on 4 August 2015
It probably helps that Richard Moore and I grew up watching the same Tours. For anyone who fell in love with the Tour in the 1980s, this book is a must.

Each chapter is like a Gary Imlach/Phil Liggins' highlight show. It distils the drama of a stage down to a bite size chunk and gives plenty of colour around the barebones of that day's racing. All my heroes and antiheroes are here. It proves the Tour is as much pantomime as bike race.
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on 20 July 2015
Although I enjoy watching professional cycling I am not an affciado of the sport.However Richard Moore's book I found quite exhilarating,the highs and lows the joy and despair of the Tour de France and its competitors from superstars to the lesser lights. All in all a fantastic read wish I could give it more than five stars.One of the best sporting books I have read.
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on 22 July 2014
Enjoyable read bringing back lots of memories. Due to the fact Richard Moore interviewed the participants the book concentrates on more recent times. As in all "greatest hits" compilations the choice of stages is subjective. However, I found the book easy to read and thoroughly enjoyed it.
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