Myth-making at the Tour de France

Great stories in a TLS roundup of two new books about the Tour de France. A sample:

In 1956, [Fiorenzo Magni] fell and, like [this year with Bradley] Wiggins, broke his collarbone, but decided to carry on after putting “some rubber sponge on the handlebars”. Later, on an uphill time trial, as Magni explained, “the pain was too much”, so he had a piece of inner tube tied to his handlebars and bit down on it as he rode. Falling again, he broke his upper arm. But he finished the race, second only to Charly Gaul, a Luxembourgeois who had won a mountain stage in the snow, delirious with cold and fatigue.

via The myths and realities of the Tour de France – David Horspool – TLS.


  1. Marcelo says:

    It's a shame bike racing does not catch on more here in the US. Most people really do not understand the strategy and effort that goes into each stage and therefore give up watching before they get a chance to get hooked (just a guess on my part and that is assuming they even try to watch it at all). The first year I had my wife watch the Tour de France with me was an eye opener for her, it took a little while but she started to really enjoy it.