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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 !