Cover image for The Tour de France companion : a nuts, bolts & spokes guide to the greatest race in the world
The Tour de France companion : a nuts, bolts & spokes guide to the greatest race in the world
Roll, Bob.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Workman Pub., [2004]

Physical Description:
182 pages : illustrations, maps ; 21 cm
Conference Subject:
Format :


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GV1049.2.T68 R673 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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We all know about Lance Armstrong, who this summer made history by being the first rider ever to win a sixth Tour de France. But what about the peloton and the role it plays in supporting the leader? What about the difference between a stage win and a time trial? What about the Tour's curiously chivalric code of behavior? What about the caravan?

With the popularity of Armstrong and the Tour outstripping our knowledge of bicycle racing, here is The Tour de France Companion , a fully illustrated primer that explains the strategies, ground rules, history, personalities, techniques, and technology behind one of the world's most spectacular and brutal sporting events. It's all clear: How teams work together. How their bikes are different from our bikes. What it takes to be a racer--the rare combination of slow- and fast-twitch muscles, a huge cardiovascular system, and an extraordinary toughness that allows you to endure more pain than your rivals. The jerseys: yellow, green, polka-dot, white, and the "combativity prize" to the rider who tries the hardest (look for a red race number). The complicated timing structure, including why it's so difficult to finish a tour--every rider must finish within ten percent or so of the fastest guy every single day, or head for home. Even what happens when the leader needs to make a rest stop--no, the other contenders don't zoom off into the sunset. Includes a glossary, stats, historic timeline, 2004 tour map, and more.

Author Notes

Bob Roll, known to racing fans as Bobke (boob-ka), is a former Tour de France racer and a member of the U.S. Cycling Hall of Fame. He is the author of two books on the wild side of bicycle racing, Bobke and Bobke II, and is a bicycling commentator for the Outdoor Life Network.
Dan Koeppel has been writing about bikes, bike racing, and outdoor adventure for over 20 years. He has ridden all the major Alpine climbs and passes of the Tour de France, and was inducted into the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame in 2003. He's a contributing editor at National Geographic Adventure and Bicycling magazines

Table of Contents

Dan Koeppel
2004 Tour de France Crib Sheetp. 1
Forewordp. 6
Introduction: A Fine Fast Madnessp. 9
1. C'est Le Tourp. 19
16 Reasons Why the Tour de France Is Better Than the Super Bowlp. 24
The Ten Big Questions About Strategy (with Answers)p. 40
2. A Century of Glorious Crueltyp. 47
Tragedies of the Tourp. 54
3. Not-So-Easy Ridersp. 65
Time Trial of the Centuryp. 70
4. Of Bikes and Menp. 75
The Bike's Murky Birthp. 80
Bike Talkp. 84
5. How to Win in 12 Impossible Stepsp. 89
Hail to the Loser!p. 98
6. Climb and Punishmentp. 103
Five Legendary Climbsp. 110
Know the Scorep. 114
7. Tour de France Confidentialp. 121
8. Audience Participationp. 133
9. Bob Roll's Unauthorized, Unexpurgated Tour de France Alphabetp. 143
More Nuts & Bolts
To Find Out More About the Tourp. 158
The Ultimate Tour de France Time Linep. 160
Glossary: 20 Essential Termsp. 165
Tour de France Recordsp. 166
Bibliographyp. 170
Photo Creditsp. 172
About the Authorsp. 173
Indexp. 174