FRENCH REVOLUTIONS: CYCLING THE TOUR DE FRANCE

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9780099433828: FRENCH REVOLUTIONS: CYCLING THE TOUR DE FRANCE

Seduced by the speed and glamour of the biggest annual sporting event in the world, and determined to tackle the most fearsome physical challenge outside classical mythology, Moore, the ultimate amateur, attempts to complete all 3,630km of the 2000 Tour in the weeks before the professionals set off.
     Battling it out with the old men on butchers' bikes across the plains of Aquitaine and pursued by cattle over Europe's second highest road, Moore soon finds himself resorting to narcotic assistance, systematic overeating and waxed legs before summoning a support vehicle staffed by cruelly sceptical family and friends. Accounts of his suffering and chicanery, and those encountered in the race's epic history, are interwoven through a look at rural France busy tarting itself up for those 15 seconds of fame as the Tour careers through at 50kph. An heroic depiction of an inadequate man's attempt to achieve the unachievable, Moore's Tour is a tale of calorific excess, ludicrous clothing and intimate discomfort.

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About the Author:

TIM MOORE's books include French Revolutions, Do Not Pass Go, Spanish Steps, Nul Points and I Believe in Yesterday. He lives in London.

From Booklist:

With every book, this British writer inches ever closer to mastering Bill Bryson's unique mixture of travelogue and comedy. His latest offering finds the author on the roads and highways of France, Switzerland, and Germany, a 36-year-old novice cyclist trying to complete the Tour de France. Not the actual Tour de France, that is. Moore set off on the course several weeks before the actual race began, just to see if he could finish all 2,256 miles of it. Like his previous books, Frost on My Moustache (2000) and The Grand Tour (2001), this is not so much a travelogue as a travel situation comedy. Like the protagonist of a sitcom, things just keep happening to Moore: he finds himself in the unlikeliest of places, meeting the unlikeliest of people. He charts his tour progress with an impish wit, never taking anything too seriously, and is engagingly honest about his own shortcomings as a Tour de France cyclist. (He cheats, in other words.) Moore, and the reader, develop a greater understanding of what it takes to be a true tour cyclist: equal parts determination, stamina, and lunacy. His descriptions of the places he visits make these small towns and villages seem instantly familiar; the people he encounters become as real as our closest friends. About halfway through the book, we realize that it doesn't really matter whether he finishes the course; getting there is all the fun. A must for fans of offbeat travel books by the likes of Bryson, Calvin Trillin, and Tony Hawks. David Pitt
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TIM MOORE
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