The maps of the Tour tell of the evolution and challenges of the most prestigious bike race in the world. They are always similar and always different. They trace the history of a country which evolves, which reveals itself, which opens itself up to its neighbours and which carves out Europe before Europe. A country which shows its beauty and its charms. Each route is a picnic spot of several thousands of kilometres for millions of supporters, who wouldn't miss their summer meeting with the peloton for the world.
The maps are varied in style and detail and from an extensive archive specially collected and curated. The overall impact is not just a graphic history of the Tour but with the combination of incisive writing the book weaves a impression of how the Tour has developed during those magical three weeks in July.
The maps are a graphic device and intended as a point of historical reference for an occasional associated short story. As the maps vary in quality and size, some years feature more strongly than others, the better quality and more significant ones in a fold-out format.
Cartes du Tour has a map for all the 105 editions and ASO, the Tour’s owners, have allowed us permission and access to their archive of road books, maps and associated resources in order to cover-off every edition since it’s start in 1903.
About the author:
Paul Fournel is a writer. For a long time he was an editor (with Ramsay and Seghers among others). He has been president of the French writers’ association Société des gens de lettres. He has managed the Alliance Française in San Francisco. He has been a cultural attaché in Cairo and in London. He is now a full time writer, and a cyclist for the rest of the day. His third full time occupation is as president of French writing group Oulipo.
Among his works, the novels Un homme regarde une femme, Foraine, Chamboula; the novellas Les petites filles respirent le même air que nous, Les grosses rêveuses, Les athlètes dans leurs têtes, Les manières douces de Profane Lulu; for the theatre: Foyer Jardin; essay collections Guignol, Poils de Cairote, Besoin de vélo (translated into English as Need for the Bike and, in an updated translation with new material, as Vélo); poetry, Toi qui connais du monde, Terines d’amérique.
Interview with Paul Fournel and editor Guy Andrews here
Foreword: Christian Prudhomme, Director, Tour de France
Tom Simpson: Bird on the Wire
WINNER – 2017 William Hill Sports Book of the Year
WINNER – 2018 Sports Book Awards, Cycling Book of the Year
Tom Simpson is British cycling’s greatest icon. Fifty years after he conquered the continental sporting scene, he still captivates people around the world. After his dramatic death on Mont Ventoux during the 1967 Tour de France, amphetamines and alcohol were found in his system, a fact which which often dwarfs his pioneering achievements. From a humble upbringing in a Nottinghamshire mining town, Simpson became the first Briton to win the elite men’s World Championships and to wear the Tour de France’s yellow jersey. He also took victory at Milan – Sanremo, the Tour of Flanders and the Tour of Lombardy, three of cycling’s most prestigious races.
A charismatic and impulsive character, Simpson lived life fast, with a penchant for spectacular racing, sports cars and fanciful dreams. This man of contradictions was both people’s champion and pariah, gentleman and rogue. Guided by rare photography of Simpson, this book explores the Briton’s feats and complexities through untold stories from those closest to him.
Main protagonists and interviews: Jan Janssen, Raymond Poulidor, Gianni Motta, Barry Hoban, Emile Daems, Brian Robinson, Vin Denson, Helen Hoban, Joanne Simpson, Henri Duez, Charly Wegelius, Dave Bonner, Billy Holmes, Keith Butler, Pete Ryalls and Professor Greg Whyte OBE.
Author biography: Andy McGrath is a London-based cycling journalist and the managing editor of Rouleur. He has worked at Cycling Weekly and Cycle Sport, and written for The Guardian, The Financial Times and others. He co-authored the Official Treasures of the Tour de France and edited the Rouleur publication “Merckx: The Greatest”.
With a foreword by Sir Bradley Wiggins
Published by Rapha Editions and produced by Bluetrain Publishing Ltd. ISBN: 978-1-912164-01-1
What the reviewers had to say:
'Very well written and looks fabulous' – Simon Mayo, BBC R2
'A fascinating and insightful read' – Cycling Weekly
'As the marvellous collection of photographs shows, Simpson was so completely dedicated to his sport, he was head and shoulders above his domestic rivals.' – Bristol Post
'This book's principle focus is, as it should be, on his riding, the photography supplementing an extraordinary tale.' – The Pink Southampton
"Rarely does a book meet its aim so perfectly. Innovative design, scrupulous research and stunning photography complement each other superbly to produce Andy McGrath’s outstanding and startlingly intimate portrait of a British sporting icon. Like another former Bookie Prize winner, Lance Armstrong, Tom Simpson was hugely talented and single-minded, but flawed. Tom Simpson’s tragic morality tale inspires awe and respect, yet also unease amongst those who have seen domestic cycling reach international heights he could only have guessed at." – Graham Sharpe, William Hill’s Chairman of the judging panel, commenting on Andy McGrath’s victory.
"This is not only a fantastic read, but also a highly covetable object. With it’s combination of an extraordinary subject matter paired with beautifully written prose, bold design and imagery, it offers the ultimate reading experience.” – John Inverdale, TV presenter, broadcaster and member of the judging panel of the 2017 William Hill Sports Book of the Year
For better or for worse, the Giro d’Italia remains the sporting metaphor for Italians. To celebrate its centenary, Herbie Sykes produced a unique – and uniquely personal – evocation. In realising it he undertook a Giro of his own. Travelling the length of the peninsular, he met with 100 of its constituents, and simply listened to their stories. They were the champions and gregari, the superstars and nearly-men, their wives, families and tifosi. There were kingmakers and journalists, sponsors and officials, those who have loved it and a few who abhorred it. Collectively their testimonies represent a journey to the heart of the race, and to Italian cycling identity. This, however, is a cycling journey with a difference. In a departure from recent cycling convention, they were invited to open not only their hearts, but also their scrapbooks, photo albums and old cupboard drawers. There’s no anodyne photographic agency fodder here, no clichéd Dolomite vistas and no hackneyed portraits of Coppi, Merckx or Pantani. Rather the images conjure the spirit, pathos and beauty of the greatest race on earth and, more poignantly still, of 100 lives conditioned by it.
Main protagonists and interviews: Franco Balmamion, Gianni Motta, Fausto Bertoglio, Italo Zilioli, Gianbatista Baronchelli, Mario Garavoglia, Aldo Gios, Paolo Salvoldelli and many more...
Author biography: Award-winning author Herbie Sykes (“Coppi”; “Maglia Rosa”; “The Race Against the Stasi”; “The Eagle of the Canavese”) will mark the centenary with “Giro 100”, his unique – and uniquely personal – evocation of the corsa rosa.
Published by Rapha Editions
Produced by Bluetrain Publishing Ltd. ISBN: 978-1-912164-00-4
What the reviewers had to say:
'No matter how many books about the Giro you might have already read, Giro 100 is worth adding to the tally. It's a perfect complement to any other book about the Giro as there is so little overlap – even when covering the same stories. An extraordinary collection of unusual stories about the Giro, told by 100 of its less well known participants.' – Richard Peploe, road.cc
'The Giro 100 is probably the saddest, sweetest, funniest and most thoughtful cycling book I've yet reviewed for the Café Bookshelf. For English-speaking cycling fans, it's the Giro d'Italia book that effortlessly shows you why the corsa rosa matters.' – Podium Cafe
"It never gets easier, you just go faster." – Greg LeMond
Being a three-time Tour de France winner is only half of the Greg LeMond story. Earlier in his career, Greg rode a full racing season from Spring to Autumn – equally at home on the cobbles of the spring classics as he was on the mountains of the grand tours. His never-say-die spirit also bagged him two World Championship golds and a hatful of podiums at the world’s toughest bike races.
Greg was a talented all-rounder with a reputation as one of the canniest and taciturn racers of his generation – He was admired by all of his peers and respected by many of his rivals. But things could have been very different, when in 1987 his story took a tragic turn. Whilst out hunting, he was accidentally shot. He lost so much blood that his life hung in the balance, his recovery was as miraculous as what happened next, when he came back to the world of bike racing.
In LeMond: Yellow Jersey Racer we document many of Greg’s big wins with unique and exclusive photography depicting the racing times of this exceptional bike rider. We also interviewed many of Greg’s rivals, team mates and friends, who spoke candidly about his career, how their lives crossed and his legacy in the sport of cycling.
What the reviewers had to say:
'Guy Andrews documents LeMond's entire legendary racing career and his lasting influence, one that saw him change cycling more than any other rider in the history of the sport.' – VeloNews
'Those not familiar with the legend will become fans. Those who are will explore new insights.' – Bicycling
'LeMond was and remains the shiniest diamond ever pulled out of the rough of the American cycling wilderness. The story of his discovery, with family photos of young Greg as well as the still-incredible scenes of Cyrille Guimard and Bernard Hinault visiting Reno, Nevada, jump off the page of Yellow Jersey Racer... Beautifully comprehensive.' – Podium Cafe – Top 10 Cycling Books of 2016
'A gorgeous book, with good stories and great photography. I recommend it for any bicycle racing fan - whether for yourself, or for a gift.' – The Retrogrouch
'Fabulous. A wonderful worthy tribute.' – Experience Life
'Superb. A superlative summary of a noteworthy career in sports.' – PezcyclingNews
'Andrews deserves praise... It's the only book on LeMond we will need.' – Red Kite Prayer
'A lavishly produced look back at the career of a deservedly popular and successful cyclist.' – Road.cc
Saddle manufacturer Brooks England have been a British household name and an international cycling icon for 150 years. What continues to motivate and inspire this classic marque? With the help of a variety of writers, artists, journalists, designers, photographers and illustrators, this eclectic compendium of cycling’s joys depicts Brooks’s unique and idiosyncratic view of the wide-ranging impact of the bicycle and its place in the world, alongside their dedication to function, quality and style.
While Brooks is, at its heart, a British company, the team explore the bicycle as a worldwide phenomenon that has connected people – the Tour de France luring professional cyclists of all nationalities to the continental countryside – and continues to provide lone travellers with a gateway to all corners of the earth, celebrating journeys undertaken in some of the planet’s most extreme environments, from South America’s Atrato Swamp to Siberia. Alongside these ambitious projects, the simple joy of cycling to work, the sense of freedom and adventure afforded to all those who cycle for leisure, and the satisfaction gleaned from crafting the bicycle itself are exalted.
The result isn’t a book about a saddle maker, but a collection of fascinating contributions from leading creatives from a broad cultural spectrum who are as passionate about their work as they are about their cycling.
What the reviewers had to say:
'Unusual, entertaining and a surprising mix of stories about the culture of cycling and its place in history' – Road.cc
'A thoughtful almanac of essays, interviews and photography that is as comforting for the brain as the British brand's saddles are for the posterior' – Mr Porter, The Daily
'A fascinating read' – Bikeradar.com
'The feel of the book, reflecting Brooks' place in the cycling market, is one of quality … it is chock-full of fascinating articles covering all aspects of cycle culture' – Cycle magazine
It’s no surprise that some of the world’s finest photographers have worked in and around a bicycle race at some point in their careers. Cycling provides the perfect subject for reportage, social documentary and street photography because it happens in real time and real life. It isn’t a traditional stadium or circuit sport: the action happens on the street outside your house, in city centres where people live or in the mountains where people go to escape. The accessibility of cycling and photography means they share interesting parallels, culturally and historically. The Magnum archive contains work that is exceptional on both counts.
This book draws upon the Magnum archive to present a celebration of the great photographers who have captured those most fugitive of moments in cycling: the personalities, emotions and human endurance. It is grouped into thematic chapters, with works by a range of photographers, showing carefully picture-edited images with discursive captions. Each chapter also features one ‘story’ of an iconic moment, event or scene captured by a single photographer. They explore themes such as the Tour de France, track racing in the velodrome, winter training and the revelry of the fans and crowds, with images by a variety of iconic photographers, including Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Capa, Guy Le Querrec and Harry Gruyaert.
And what the reviewers had to say
'Glorious.' – Daily Telegraph
'A heavyweight addition to shelves.' – Guardian
'This isn't simply a book for cycling enthusiasts, but also for anyone with an interest in sports photography, reportage or just the Magnum agency.' – Amateur Photographer
'The world's best photographers capture the world's most thrilling sport It is a moving and addictive collection.' – Cycling World
'Strikingly documents the sport's history.' - Jocks & Nerds
'A reminder that, among the strained sinews, yellow jerseys and mud-splattered victory laps, cycling remains the sport of the people.' – Mr Porter
'Visually stunning and insightful… The balance of text to photographs is perfect: Guy Andrews's narrative and captions inform and elucidate, and then get out of the way of the extraordinary images that are the heart of this beautiful book. More than 200 gorgeous, intimate photographs in black-and-white and vibrant color present a view of a sport that is adrenaline-filled, fast-paced and deeply, tenderly human. Magnum Cycling is a superior collection of art, history and emotion.' – Shelf Awareness
'The photographs of a new book, Magnum Cycling, which collects more than two hundred shots of riding events―the majority from the Tour and other scenes in France―are unified in capturing something holy' – The New Yorker Photo Booth
'Glorious collection of images' – The Week
Listen to a podcast of the launch evening with Harry Gruyeart here.
Bike Mechanic: Tales from the Road and the Workshop
Bike Mechanic is a behind the scenes documentary on how far professional road bike mechanics have to go to keep their riders fast, and more importantly, safe. Being a mechanic is a hard and thankless job, far away from the glamour of the podium, but these essential members of the team are always the first up in the morning and the last to go to bed at night – the roadies of the bicycle world. The authors have followed several key professional teams over the past few years and have amassed a collection of wonderful images and experiences of life on the road.
What the reviewers had to say:
'One of the most beautifully produced books I've ever read. In words, but most of all with arthouse standard photographs and layout a homage to those who build and maintain bikes.' – The Huffington Post
'An essential guide for any cyclist for whom only the best will do when it comes to their beloved machines.' – RoadCyclingUK
'Bike Mechanic is beautifully presented... filled with wonderful photography that really gets behind the scenes of the pro teams and in the mechanic's workshop. If you're looking for a birthday or Christmas present to give to a serious cyclist, this is absolutely perfect...will be a well thumbed reference book in 20 years time.' – Sportive.com
'If you think you know everything there is to know about bicycle mechanics (both the process and the individuals), this is the very book for you, as indeed it is also even if you can't tell the difference between a BB30 bottom bracket and a quick-release skewer. For those of us who could spend hours simply staring at a campagnolo peanut butter spanner, it is manna from heaven.' – thewashingmachinepost
'An excellent read for dark winter evenings, fun to just browse through, and would be a fine gift for any cyclist, even one with or without a workstand.' – PezCyclingNews
Shortlisted for the British Sports Book Awards 2013
Herbie Sykes's Coppi is a beautiful, unique evocation of global cycling legend Fausto Coppi. Built around an extraordinary collection of hand-picked, never before seen images, the book also features testimony from those who knew him intimately.
Fausto Coppi remains the most iconic cyclist in the history of the sport. For twenty years either side of the war his extravagant talent, allied to a unique charisma and human frailty, captivated sports fans across Europe. Moreover, he revolutionised the sport of bike racing itself, laying the foundations for the generations who would follow.
Coppi was Il Campionissimo, his greatness so unequivocal that his celebrity transcended mere sport. As such both his professional and private lives were endlessly pawed over by his country's insatiable post-war media. In deserting his wife and daughter for a divorcée in 1954, he traumatised Catholic Italy. Thereafter his life became a soap opera from which he was unable to escape until his dramatic death in 1960.
These images, many among them genuine masterpieces, were unearthed through hours of painstaking research. Allied to the personal truths of those closest to him, they reveal the man behind the Fausto Coppi myth. Put simply, the book strips away many of the half-truths and downright lies which have been grafted onto his legend over the decades. As such it's a very different kind of sports biography, and a must-have for all genuine cycling fans.
What the reviewers had to say:
'Beautiful' – The Sunday Telegraph
'...well worth adding to your bookshelf... page after page of atmospheric, unusual, beautiful and striking pictures.' – Cycle Sport Magazine
'Cycling literature is certainly in rude health right now and the best-looking sports book this year was surely Herbie Sykes' coffee-table tome charting the exploits of Fausto Coppi' – Metro
‘One of the best books I have seen in a long time. Stunning stuff, and the words and stories are just superb' – Tom Southam
'The images are great alone. But for me the 21 accounts from Coppi's contemporaries are what make the book special, bringing the past alive.... a glimpse at the rich history of Italian cycling' – The Inner Ring
'In a difficult time for publishing, the literature of cycling is enjoying spectacular growth. Herbie Sykes's Coppi contains page after page of glorious and beautifully printed images from the career of Il Campionissimo, as the incomparably charismatic Fausto Coppi was known, interspersed with the testimony of the old men who were once his team-mates and rivals. The pictures are mostly black and white, of course, but nothing is more moving than the muted colour photographs of the great man's funeral, with crowds thronging the lanes around his village in Piedmont on a sunlit winter's day in 1960.' – Richard Williams, Guardian
Vélo is a unique look at the bike. Through a series of short essays, Paul Fournel beautifully evokes the experience and spirirt of all aspects of cycling.
From the glorious moment of first learning to stay upright on two wheels, to the joy of riding with friends, from the delight of good days to the hell of bad days, from the Tour de France to tours of landscapes discovered while out riding.
Accompanied by illustrations from Jo Burt, these pieces are the story of a love affair not just with the bike, but with everything it represents.
What the reviewers had to say:
'Joyous. Destined to become a classic.'
'Cycling writing at its best.' – Podium Café
What the reviewers had to say:
'The cold and irresistible attraction of a clear vision, without shadows, without greys, without passion. Black and white. And a moral command: good guys and bad ones.' – El País
'The 96 stark black-and-white images collected here are wonderfully expressive and are supplemented by brief interviews that never outstay their welcome.' – The Guardian
'These portraits explain why cycling still maintains a unrivalled fascination.' – Sportweek (Italy)