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Customer Review

0 of 10 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Racing 'Great' climbs, 4 Aug. 2013
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This review is from: Mountain High: Europe's 50 Greatest Cycle Climbs (Hardcover)
This is a very nice book with some great pictures.

I would just like to point out that the 'Great' in the title relates more to great hill climbing days in road racing history not as in 'stunning and amazing'. Most of the writing is about how the climb became great during a Tour du France stage race or other similar races.

I have never followed the Tour du France or any of the main races mentioned in the book so most of what was written did not interest me.
I have since read up a bit about the races and (tongue-in-cheek) it seems the 'Great' days/attacks/wins etc. have mostly been shown to be drug infused.

The route descriptions for those who want to do the climbs is very brief and not much use other than to tell you that on a certain bend a certain rider made his breakaway.

If you want to do the actual climbs and you're not interested in famous riders then it is not much use. I found Kristian Bauer's book a lot more useful.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 23 Aug 2013 10:27:38 BDT
Tony Pelan says:
I think the reviewer here has missed the essence of European cycling. Part of what appeals about the climbs are their intrinsic beauty/difficulty/etc, but for the majority of cyclists who are capable of riding them, the history of the sport is a key part too. Witness the story of Tommy Simpson on Mt Ventoux - for most people who have heard of it, and want to ride it, a short stop at the memorial is part of why they want to do it. Being ignorant of this aspect is to miss out on the full emotional appeal of the climbs and leaves them no more than a sterile exercise. Grinding my way up the Galibier a couple of years ago, part of what kept me going was simply knowing I was following the pedal strokes of Coppi, Merckx, Hinault, et al. I suspect I'm not the only rider who has experienced that. As regards drugs - I don't see what relevance that has to the history and challenge of the climb.

In reply to an earlier post on 16 Sep 2013 23:51:28 BDT
Your description (TP) about the book is spot-on. No argument there.
But the information about 'doing' the climbs is useless. I have done a few of them. 50-80km routes on a map that is 4x4cm is worthless. Only showing the nearest big towns. No information on shops, food or places to fill the water bottle. An armchair (and Tour de France) book with great pictures.
The Amazon description says it has great info/maps etc for the person who wants to ride the routes. It doesn't.
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