Book review: A Race for Madmen

Published by Lyn on 28 June 2011

A Race for MadmenI won't bang on too much about A Race for Madmen: The Extraordinary History of the Tour de France because wehave some extracts of the book on the site, so you'll be able to make up your own mind. (See The first-ever Tour de France, The birth of the Yellow Jersey, The 1910 Tour: Into the Pyrenées, and The birth of the Tour de France).

Suffice to say, Sidwells charts the history of the Tour de France from its inception as a newspaper marketing gimmick to its present status as the world's most watched annual sporting event. The highs and the lows (inevitably the dopings and the deaths) are all covered off, and scattered among the more predictable and previously written about tales are a few gems that capture the magic of the Tour and the achievements of its riders (clean or otherwise).

A Race For Madmen is an easy read, making both the book and the Tour itself accessible to new fans. There should be enough here, though, to also keep better-versed Tour followers entertained as they await the arrival of the peloton.

A Race For Madmen: The Extraordinary History of the Tour de France, by Chris Sidwells, is out now.

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