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L'Equipe three-volume Tour de France history book set

By Gerard Knapp

The perfect coffee-table book?
Photo: © Cyclingnews
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L'Equipe's three-volume set defies comparison.

This is without doubt the Eddy Merckx of Tour de France retrospectives that have been released to coincide with the race's centenary.

With its unparalleled access to race archives, L'Equipe has published a stunning three-volume retrospective of 100 years of the Tour de France. Given the race is owned by the Amaury Sports Organisation (ASO), publisher of L'Equipe, this retrospective is unrivalled among all of the '100 years of the TdF' books that have been released.

Cyclingnews recommends the following:

If you have a friend or colleague in France - and perhaps lucky enough to be following the Tour - insist that they do not come home without this boxed set. Yes, it's expensive at 50 euros. Yes, it's big and heavy and will be expensive to send by any kind of airmail.

But is it worth it? Yes, even if it's only available with the text in French.

The images are unsurpassed and the 350mm x 260mm format (13 ¾" x 10 ¼") allows for many double-page spreads of sensational Tour images.

The boxed set features one volume for the three main eras of the Tour: from 1903 to 1939; 1947 to 1977, then 1978 to 2002. Every edition of the 90 Tours de France is covered in detail with full results and classifications.

For persons of English-speaking backgrounds, it is the earlier eras that hold the greatest fascination, as they pre-date television, the Internet and even specialist magazines.

The images in this boxed set are exceptional. We can be thankful the photographers of the day choose fine-grain, black and white stock as the images are pinpoint sharp. Indeed, on double-page spreads of legends such as Fausto Coppi it is possible to count the number of gears and teeth on the rear sprockets.

The volumes cover not only the racing but also the drama surrounding the race. Each year, it seems, there is always a serial of off-course drama.

There are literally hundreds of cycling stories and beautiful images in the L'Equipe boxed set that have not been told in English or seen before. They await your discovery.

To order this book

Cyclingnews and Amazon.fr have joined to bring this book to the rest of the world. Priced at just EUR 47,50 plus postage, you can own this stunning three-volume retrospective of 100 years of the Tour de France. To order, just follow the link. [We understand this book has sold out - if we hear of a reprint we'll let you know! - Ed]

Weight: 4880g
Recommended retail price: 47,50 euros
Format: Three-volume, 350mm x 260mm format (13 ¾" x 10 ¼")
Available: French bookshops and newsstands
Cyclingnews Rating: Click for key to ratings

What do you think of the L'Equipe three-volume set? Let us know

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