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L'Equipe's three-volume TdF distilled into English

By Gerard Knapp

The perfect coffee-table book, now in English
Photo: © Cyclingnews
Click for larger image

The impressive and massive three-part retrospective of the Tour de France, published by L'Equipe, has also been made available in English.

Known as 'L'Equipe's international edition - The Official Tour de France Centennial 1903-2003', it is a smaller version of the original three volumes, but still runs to 360 pages, 120,000 words and over 600 images.

The original French version runs to 780 pages and is split over three volumes (see separate review) but it is only available in French. As we suggested in the earlier review, it does present the keen cyclist with a very good reason to learn the host country's language, but for those who prefer English, we can also recommend the English version.

Plus, it's somewhat less-expensive and easier to handle than the French original. Edited by Matt Rendell, the English version uses the same material of the French three volumes and chronicles the Tour de France year-by-year.

It includes many gems of the original, such as translations of Henri Desgrange's editorials, Gustave Garrigou's impressions on having won the 1911 Tour, Gino Bartali's views on the 'never-ending Alps' in 1938, Jacques Anquetil and Raymond Poulidor on their 1964 duel.

With an introduction by Jean-Marie LeBlanc and foreward by Lance Armstrong, the book claims to be the definitive English-language record of cycling's oldest and grandest tour. As it draws on the same source material and stunning photography as L'Equipe's three-volume set, it is a claim that is hard to dispute.

The book is published by Weidenfeld & Nicolson in Britain for £25. It is distributed in the USA by Sterling, and in Australia by Allen & Unwin. The publisher is currently reprinting the book with a full entry for 2003. This should be available towards the end of August.

To order this book

Cyclingnews and Amazon have joined to bring this book to the rest of the world. If you live in Europe, just follow this link. Amazon in the UK can only ship to European countries.

It will soon be released in North America and the rest of the world. If you wish to purchase over the Internet via Amazon (and help Cyclingnews), it is possible for persons in North America and the rest of the world to pre-order via this link.

Weight: 2290g
Recommended retail price: £25, £17.50 at Amazon; US$29.95 at bookstores, US$20.97 at Amazon
Format: Single-volume, 295mm x 265mm format
Available: UK bookshops and the internet
Cyclingnews Rating: Click for key to ratings

What do you think of the L'Equipe English version? Let us know

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