Butcher, Blacksmith, Acrobat, Sweep: The Tale of the First Tour de France Inglés 9780224100656 Peter Cossins

Butcher, Blacksmith, Acrobat, Sweep: The Tale of the First Tour de France

The Tale of the First Tour de France. For the first time, the full story behind the creation of the Tour de France and the remarkable first edition of the race in 1903.

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In 1902, the journalist Géo Lefèvre met Henri Desgrange, editor of struggling newspaper L'Auto, for lunch in Montmartre in Paris. Lefèvre pitched him a totally unprecedented cycling event, comprised of multiple stages over thousands of kilometres, touring the country. It sounded preposterous, but, desperate to revive the publication, Desgrange went along with it. In 1903 the first Tour de France took place.

Cyclists of the time weren't enthusiastic about this 'heroic' race through roads more suited to hooves than wheels, with bikes weighing up to twenty kilos, on a single fixed gear, for three full weeks. Assembling enough riders for the race meant bribing unemployed labourers from the suburbs of Paris, including a butcher, a blacksmith, a chimney sweep, and a wrestler.

Through these characters' backstories, acclaimed cyclist writer Peter Cossins paints a nuanced portrait of France in the early 1900s. The race itself was packed with mishaps and adventure - nighttime starts, nefarious strategies employed to gain advantages over competitors, riders hydrating with wine.

There was no indication that a ramshackle cycling pack would draw crowds to throng France's rutted roads and cheer the first Tour heroes. But they did, and cycling would never be the same again

Peter Cossins
Yellow Jersey Press
Fecha publicación
July 2017

Peter Cossins periodista y escritor, desde 1993 no ha parado de escribir sobre ciclismo. Ha cubierto más de una docena de ediciones del Tour de Francia y ha trabajado para la revista Procycling como director y colaborador. Es autor o coautor de numerosos libros sobre el mundo de las dos ruedas, como la biografía del ganador del Tour de 1987 Stephen Roche, The Monuments, la historia de las cinco clásicas de un día más importantes del ciclismo, y Two Days in Yorkshire, una crónica de los entresijos de la Gran Salida del Tour de 2014 por tierras de ese condado inglés.

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