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New Arrivals – July 31, 2007

Edited by James Huang

Got Tech? Send press releases, news, and tech questions to the Cyclingnews tech-heads.

Welcome to New Arrivals, a section showcasing the latest equipment that's landed on the Cyclingnews tech desk. Look out for reviews over the next few months when we've clocked up some saddle time with this stuff.

23 Days in July DVD

23 Days in July provides a great insight
Photo ©: Paul Henderson-Kelly
(Click for larger image)

23 Days in July focuses on legendary Australian cyclist Phil Anderson and his attempt to win the final yellow jersey of the 1983 Tour de France. Anderson had won the Dutch classic Amstel Gold event earlier in the season and briefly wore the maillot jaune in the Pyrenees during the 1981 TdF, easily making him the country's top contender and a genuine threat for the general classification that year.

History tells us that the 'Kangaroo' would not go on to win the 1983 Tour, and in fact his best ever result was a fifth place overall. However, the DVD provides insight to just how great an impact the young Australian had in Europe, thus paving the way for many more of his compatriots to ply their trade in the professional ranks abroad, as well as how far the sport has evolved in the past 25 years.

The DVD also includes two bonus features: a photo gallery of Anderson's career and a recap of Gerrie Knetemann's sole Amstel Gold victory in 1985. Just what relevance the latter has to do with Anderson's 1983 TdF is unknown, but it is nice nonetheless to watch a former Tour de France great win the only classic on Dutch soil.

Naturally, all commentary is by Phil Liggett, the voice of cycling for the English speaking world. The 23 Days in July DVD can be purchased from Cyclingnews' online store by clicking here.

Price: AUS $79.95

The Official Treasures of le Tour de France

The book contains lots of pull out memorabilia.
Photo ©: Paul Henderson-Kelly
(Click for larger image)

The Official Treasures of le Tour de France provides a unique and well-researched history of the Tour as written by two experienced journalists, Serge Laget and Luke Edwards, who between them have over 50 years of experience covering cycling's greatest race. Laget and Edwards document many of the great riders that have taken part in the race's 104-year history and take a look at why this race is so intriguing to so many.

In addition, the book includes over 275 rare images, forty removable reproductions of several pieces of TdF-related memorabilia, as well as the stories behind them. Among the artifacts is a letter written by Tour founder Henri Desgrange and the contracts that the riders had to sign in order to take part in the 1910 Tour.

The Official Treasures of le Tour de France can be purchased at Amazon.com for Euorpean buyers by clicking here.

Price: AUS $59

Detour de France DVD

Iffy's take on the Tour.
Photo ©: Paul Henderson-Kelly
(Click for larger image)

Detour de France is a documentary on the 2005 Tour de France unlike any that has come before it. As the producers say, 'Lance won his seventh Tour, but that was only half the story'. The film offers a fascinating look inside the World's biggest annual sporting event. It focuses on three Australians reporting on the World-famous event: John Trevorrow (who is part of the Cyclingnews coverage team at the TdF), another journalist and one of their mates who is definitely not a journalist, but eats and drinks like one. Ironically, he ends up snagging some of the best interviews of the film.

All three bring a larrikin humour to their antics, which makes the film more than reportage and more akin to attending a sporting event as one of 'the boys'. Taking a layman's approach, Detour de France introduces the audience to the nuances of the event, exploring the terminology, strategy and the mechanics of the race, along the way interview riders like Armstrong, Bernard Hinault, Robbie McEwen, Stuart O'Grady and personalities like Sheryl Crow and US presidential candiate John Kerry.

The special 'Deluxe Edition' of this DVD - exclusive to Cyclingnews and myflix.com.au - also includes a second DVD featuring the original music from the film, plus a 16-page full-colour 'scrapbook', packaged in an attractive hardcover fold-out case. And it also includes one of the gold kangaroo pins that John 'Iffy' Trevorrow hands out to the people he meets at the Tour. (Trevorrow is a former Australian road cycling champion who raced in Europe at the highest level and completed the Giro d'Italia. He clearly knows, understands and loves the sport, as his sensitive handling of reporting the anniversary of the death of Fabio Casartelli indicates.)

The Detour De France DVD is available from Cyclingnews' online store by clicking here.

Price: AUS $44.95

Tour de Life

The book on Saul Rasins recovery from a nasty accident.
Photo ©: Paul Henderson-Kelly
(Click for larger image)

American professional cyclist Saul Raisin was preparing for his Grand Tour debut at the 2006 Giro d'Italia, a major stepping stone to his dream of contesting and maybe one day winning the Tour de France. Then, on April 4, as the Crédit Agricole rider's parents awaited his usual post-race 'OK' text message at home in Dalton, Georgia, the 23 year-old lay in a coma at death's doorstep in a French hospital following a crash at the Circuit de la Sarthe.

Tour de Life tells the frighteningly real tale of Saul's parents' mad-dash to be at their son's side in the Centre Hospitalier Unversitaire d'Angers' intensive care unit, followed by his rehabilitation back in the United States of America. The 278-page book starts with Jim and Yvonne Raisin's account of Saul's time in intensive care, where they faced unfathomable language and cultural differences while dealing with their emotions and their son's life and death situation. Once returning to the United States in a medically-equipped Learjet, Saul takes over the storytelling, providing a shameless, eye-opening account of his rehabilitation process.

In addition to showing the remarkable strength of human sprit in times of immense adversity, Raisin's story also offers an uncensored view through the eyes of a recovering head-trauma victim.

Raisin's book, Tour de Life, can be purchased at Amazon.com for European buyers by clicking here, while Americans and buyers from the rest of the World should click here.

Price: US $29.95


For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here

Images by Paul Henderson-Kelly/Cyclingnews.com