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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The true grinders of the world in one book
A fantastic book that will appeal to new fans of the Tour de France looking to learn a bit more about the cycling greats, and a brilliant tome for reminiscing on past masters who've been tour fans for a while.

Nicely written and containing some iconic images (many of which convey the pain these guys went through) this book also lists the great climbs of the...
Published 13 months ago by B. Roche

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Has a dated feel to it.
This book as reviewed and described elsewhere is a collection of mountain climbs and key cyclists from the history of the Tour de France. My main impression of the book was down to the quality of the mountain section photographs, which had a dated look to them. They were also not well tagged to show where they were taken which again would have been an improvement. A...
Published 15 months ago by Stevetrumpet


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The true grinders of the world in one book, 17 Oct 2013
By 
B. Roche "somethingisrotten" (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Mountain Kings: Agony and Euphoria on the Peaks of the Tour De France (Paperback)
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A fantastic book that will appeal to new fans of the Tour de France looking to learn a bit more about the cycling greats, and a brilliant tome for reminiscing on past masters who've been tour fans for a while.

Nicely written and containing some iconic images (many of which convey the pain these guys went through) this book also lists the great climbs of the tour, from the saddle.

Armchair enthusiasts and amateur cyclists will both enjoy this book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars SUPERB !, 4 Aug 2013
By 
BRIAN PLAYFAIR "SAQQARA" (CLELAND SCOTLAND) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Mountain Kings: Agony and Euphoria on the Peaks of the Tour De France (Paperback)
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Mountain Kings by Giles Belbin. This is a book for all fans of the Tour de France and especially those who love the mountain stages. It is set out in chapters featuring alternately 25 of the great climbs the Tour uses and profiles of 23 of the riders who have made their names on their slopes.

The Mountains - each chapter has all the relevant details of it's size, length and gradient and when it had been used in the Tour however the beauty of the book is that the author rides them himself giving vivid descriptions of each part of the climb and what it meant to him, the fear, the agony and all interwoven with tales of the great historical battles that have taken place over the years between the famous tour climbers. It is exiting and compelling reading.
There are many beautiful photographs which show the reader what each climb is like and the magnificent scenery most of which is lost when watching the Tour on TV. This helps to put you there and perhaps gives you an idea of the pain. The author features 25 of the famous climbs - magical names that alone paint their own pictures - Col D'Aspin, Peyresourde, Marie-Blanque, The Tourmalet, Alp D'Huez, Col De La Madeleine, Galibier and of course the notorious Ventoux. In all 25 featured mountains each with their own wonderful stories.

The Riders - features 23 profiles of the great climbers past and present with their own stories of how they won and lost on the mountains. Again magical names to conjure great memories of their exploits - Luis Ocana, Eddy Merckx, Fignon, Anquetil, Coppi and Bobbet, Indurain, Pantani, Hinault, Robert Miller, Charlie Gaul, Wiggins and perhaps the greatest of them all - the great Bahamontes.

The basic description says that this is a "paperback" but that is very misleading. True is has a stiff card cover rather than a hard binding but the quality of production, paper and artwork is of the highest standard.

A truly wonderful book worth every one of the five stars I have given. Full of great stories, punishing climbs and legendary riders.

Just Superb !
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Worthy of a Polka Dot Jersey!, 17 Jun 2013
This review is from: Mountain Kings: Agony and Euphoria on the Peaks of the Tour De France (Paperback)
Ive read a number of Tour history books - Mountain Kings does a great job of telling the tales of the heros of the tour with great detail.
This book brings a refreshing twist with Giles Belbin's documentation of riding these famous peaks alongside the stories of famous races.
His honest account makes a refreshing contrast to the epic tails of tour glory. If you fancy riding any of the Cols yourself this book is a must! Mountain Kings is a great all-rounder!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly Recommended!!!, 13 Jun 2013
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This review is from: Mountain Kings: Agony and Euphoria on the Peaks of the Tour De France (Paperback)
This is a great book. Giles Belbin shares his insightful knowledge of the Tour de France mixed with personal experience over the toughest mountains. A well researched history of the Tour's biggest battles, from the unthinkable first event to the modern day circus, is written so you feel part of it. As Giles describes his own adventures climbing the toughest 25 mountains it inspires you to get out and ride. I would highly recommend this book.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Agony to ride, but not to read., 25 Jun 2013
By 
JBV "JBV^_^" - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Mountain Kings: Agony and Euphoria on the Peaks of the Tour De France (Paperback)
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I've been watching and reading about the Tour De France since the early 70's. Most of you probably weren't born then. Back then, I was (mostly) reading about Eddy Merckx (whom I once met) and occasionally watching highlights on grandstand (ask you parents - or grandparents.) Now I can watch most stages live on TV, but still love books like this.

If you're a fan of the Tour, then this is a great little book covering the famous climbs and some of the greats who have made the tour great by riding those climbs. You're probably going to buy this anyway. You should. If you're wondering why some of us are so keen of the Tour, then buy this book and find out. While watching Cavendish win sprints in Paris is exciting, it's the mountains that really make the race.

Each chapter covers one of the great climbs. Included is a gradient map, showing the slope of each mountain. This is a nice little detail, often missed in books of this sort - they often just show a map of the route. Each of these mountains has been ridden by the author and includes his experience of the climb.

After the history of the climb, you get a chapter on one of the heroes of the climb, all the way from the first tour to some of the truly great climbers in tour history.

I would love to ride some of these mountain routes, but my ability to climb is nearly non-existent (too many knee injuries.) Still, the descents would be fun!

So a nice read with some excellent photographs and nicely researched histories. I only wished I had the hardback.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A quality book,well written from first hand experiences and a good, intersting read., 5 Sep 2013
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This review is from: Mountain Kings: Agony and Euphoria on the Peaks of the Tour De France (Paperback)
A well written book supplemented with excellent photographs. The book is written from experience which adds to the realism of the narrative.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fab Read, 13 Jun 2013
This review is from: Mountain Kings: Agony and Euphoria on the Peaks of the Tour De France (Paperback)
This is one of my favourite cycling books. The author offers a compelling personal account of the tours many climbs and provides this with stunning pictures, statistics and the fascinating history of the tour. Easy to read and the type of book that makes you go for a ride! If your a fan of the worlds greatest road race, I recommend you buy this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mountain climbing cyclist loved it., 22 Aug 2013
By 
JoMaynard (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Mountain Kings: Agony and Euphoria on the Peaks of the Tour De France (Paperback)
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This is a book for those who love riding the mountain stages of the Tour de France, and those who just love reading about them (or a companion to those who love watching them).

The book interweaves the history of the Tour and twenty five of the classic mountain stages; with a description of the author's efforts to conquer them. It gives you hard factual information with descriptions of just what it is like to ride these mountain stages; especially if you are not privileged enough to do it as part of the peleton. There are also interspersed little snippets about some of the famous mountain cyclists.

It is well written and entertaining, and definitely a worthy addition to the library of cycling enthusiasts. So much so that my husband took my copy with him when he went to cycle in the Alps and watch the Tour stage up the Alpe d'Huez.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Superb read that will remain on shelves as reference, 18 Aug 2013
By 
Herbie Green "Herbs" (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Mountain Kings: Agony and Euphoria on the Peaks of the Tour De France (Paperback)
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Really enjoyed reading this book about the mountains of the Tour de France. The writer really lest you in on his recons of each mountain, and I like the format with the chapters on climbs interspersed with chapters on notable Tour climbers. Both aspects of the book are really well written and researched. Despite being a good read, it will also remain on my shelves as a reference work about the mountains and the Tour climbers. It may also become an 'eye-spy' book for some to tick off mountains as they ride them themselves.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Follow le tour, 18 Aug 2013
By 
Mr. P. Shoreland "pas" (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Mountain Kings: Agony and Euphoria on the Peaks of the Tour De France (Paperback)
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I am a tour follower and often travel to see one stage or another,this book gives me my fix until the next tour,the whole events struggle is in this well written book,including some pain,but giving lots of pleasure,just cannot wait until 2014
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