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VINE VOICETOP 1000 REVIEWERon 17 June 2013
Wow, these commemorative titles for the Tour's 100th edition really are doing battle of the celebrity Forewords. Where Mapping Le Tour de France has one, by Mark Cavendish, this book has two, by Bernard Hinault AND Stephen Roche...

It also contains a huge amount more factual information that that other title. (But it does this by squeezing facts onto the page in a way that could give you a headache at points - or at least have us older folk reaching for their reading glasses...)

The main body of the book is the 100 greatest stages of the Tour - this means that the authors don't discuss every year, and sometimes cover more than one stage from a really significant year. In fact there are chunks of the twenties and thirties where two years in a row are missing, so you get less coverage there and more from the years we might have a chance of remembering.

What you get: a detailed map of the stage in question, details of four or five major points on the stage, and a summary of how it fitted into the race as a whole. This is a nice technique for thinking about how the race progresses in its detailed, day-to-day way, but doesn't give you much sense of the overall history. (At the back of the book there are route maps for all of the hundred races, and brief summaries of each race's main events, though this is presented more as 'reference' than in full colour etc.)

Good points: An absolutely encyclopedic set of images. Always wondered what Henri Desgranges actually looked like? here you go! (And a fab reminder of that brilliant look Andy Schleck gave Contador as Alberto lifted the trophy in 2010 - that look said everything...)
And some great facts and little tables and summaries - Marco Pantani's Tour Record, for example, on that brilliant day on Ventoux when Lance 'let' Marco win.... or little features on 'Mountain Top Finishes'.

It also deals beautifully with Lance by showing him in all his brutal, crazy competitive glory, as well as with no eyebrows after chemotherapy. The authors chose 2003's 'Handbaggate' where Lance caught his handlebars on a spectator before getting up and actually winning the stage; plus his off-roading after the Beloki crash the same year, both of which are indicative of the man's character and show his drive, whatever you think of the doping.

Less good points? There just are box-outs all over the place - I actually find this style of book construction great for dipping into, but you can't read it all in one go - you are just jumping around and can't totally 'settle' to enjoy it, serenely :-) All in all, it makes for a 'crowded read'.

Honestly, I would give this book a four and a half stars, not a five, because of my issues with the design! But it seemed churlish to round down, so I've rounded up instead.
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on 28 June 2013
A cover to die for and a nice concept for illustrating key stages (not necessarily the best stages) from the first century of Le Tour. But, it's far from the definitive history advertised on the cover.

The 3D aerial maps are a nice touch, but not always as clear as you may wish and they are occasionally inaccurate - see Cavendish's sprinting masterclass (P226) where the route fails to go round Le Jardin de Tuilleries, which it did, but circles The Arc de Triomphe, which it didn't. Not a deal breaker, but annoying.

Great book for dipping in and out of and there are some excellent images to evoke the history (P7) and grandeur (P32) of Le Tour.

Overall it represents an example of style over substance and is overpriced at £25. But, if you can get it for less I still believe it is well worth considering.
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on 30 March 2018
Nice book covering The Tour with pictures and stories
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on 30 July 2013
Brought as a present and started to think I should have kept it for myself... It wants more words but nothing else to say!
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on 11 November 2013
takes each year and provides a colourful and quirky look at it.photos and graphics are excellent.great book for those who like their facts short and sharp.
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on 4 August 2013
This is a lovely, hard cover coffee table book which will quickly convey key facts about the first hundred editions of the Tour, albeit without the winner of the latest edition. As a gift to a fan for either reference purposes, or someone trying to understand the key facts and statistics about this wonderful sport, I would highly recommend. Having read some of the other reviews, I feel the criticism levelled against it is harsh, regarding Lance Armstrong. Unfortunately he has become associated with all that is bad about the race, most probably because of his brash and aggressive style adopted in picking off his critics. The only fault I could find with this was the star next to his name on the tour's which he won. What about a star next to Ulrich, Riise etc., riders who have since admitted to doping? But that is purely for consistency and I'm sure that there would be many asterisks. Frankly, without all the bizarre footnotes in cycling history, would it be so fascinating? This book in the most part shares the facts about a wonderful event with a rich and varied history. People should get over themselves with their hang-ups about it's recent history (Did Lance eat any children? No. Will top athletes go to the absolute limits of what is acceptable in their efforts to win? Probably, yes). Chapeau to the Editors, they've handled a currently controversial subject area in as agnostic a way as possible.
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on 3 July 2014
Le Tour 100 : the definitive history of the worlds greatest race. A good all rounder
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on 24 August 2013
No library will be complete without this book. 100 years of Tour history including maps,results a d stories if epic sacrifice. From heros to villains it has it all.
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on 2 August 2013
This is a beautifully presented book filled with a fascinating history of Le Tour, the participants and the key stages that shaped the results. It's mapping, photographs and illustrations are superb. It is however, very flawed by the manner in which it deals with Lance Armstrong and the editorial team should be ashamed of the mealy mouthed manner in which this has been presented. If you didn't know the truth of the cheating that Armstrong was responsible for you would think (see page 29 of the book) that he was some sort of folk hero in the cycling world. He is not and I quote "Lance Armstrong is an amazing athlete and a formidable person" The latter may be correct, the former is not; he was an out and out cheat and deprived many clean riders of podium places at Le Tour. His actions caused great damage to the public's view of cycling which is only now beginning to recover with the performances of the likes of Wiggins and Froome. I can only recommend this book on the understanding that any reader appreciates the true history of Armstrong's despicable deceit. I would urge the editors/publishers to take a more honest approach in any future editions of this otherwise splendid publication.
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on 25 September 2013
I bought this for my Dad in July and it looked so good I got it for my Father-in-law in August! They were both very pleased with it.
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