Cartes du Tour
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The maps are a graphic device and intended as a point of historical reference for an occasional associated short story.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.
Buy the book here
Interview with Paul Fournel and editor Guy Andrews here
Foreword: Christian Prudhomme, Director, Tour de France