Showing posts with label Tour de France. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Tour de France. Show all posts

Monday, April 23, 2012

Robert Millar

"Mountains are the only way to make my rivals to suffer, but I have to suffer to make them suffer and this thing doesn't amuse me at all"


-KOMs Classification winner; 1984 Tour de France (3 stages) & 1987 Giro d'italia (1 stage).

Thursday, April 05, 2012

A Trio of Cycling Books

Thanks to Guy, I'm a happy receipent of these three books.

A Century Of Cycling by William Fotheringham: Imagery and stories rich of the great classics, Tours and World Road Championships.

The Tour De France and it's heroes by Graham Watson: Published in 1990, iconic photography by one of the best photographers around, Graham Watson covers the Hinault years to the classic 1989 battle between LeMond and Fignon.

On Tour by Bradley Wiggins: Behind the scenes look at his 2010 Tour with marvelous photography by Scott Mitchell.


Monday, November 28, 2011


Roche on his way to victory
in the TT at Futuroscope, 1987 Tour.

Stephen Roche is 52 years old today.

Well known for his 1987 season as a season to remember: Tour de France, Giro d'Italia and World Road Race Championship.

The Irishman was exemplary on the bike at times pushing himself to near exhaustion. I remember that lung busting ride up La Plagne, in the 1987 Tour, against Delgado. What a heroic ride winning Ireland's first Tour de France!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Season 2, Stage 10: Movembering Along

How did November come by so fast?

This month better known as Movember is my cue to grow a stache in support for men's health.

The cycling season maybe over but there's plenty to talk about. Guy and I are eager to present two books.

As you know from our last podcast, Guy introduced David Millar's autobiography, "Racing through the Dark: The Fall and Rise of David Millar." And with a title like this, Mr. Millar has resurrected himself into the cyclist and man he is today. Find out more from Guy's review!

I'm introducing, "Team 7-Eleven by Geoff Drake. Our heartfelt thanks to our supporter Velopress for sending this much anticipated book. I first learned of this rag tag team landing on the shores of the 1985 Giro d'Italia. After winning two stages, the American invasion was on afterwards an invitation to the 1986 Tour de France was next. Look to our next podcast for a full review.

Our favorite handmade cycling caps from Galstudio always make us look so good. Guy wears the Routier and I sport the Vive la France.

We talk about the new 2012 Giro and Tour routes and who are our favorites. And with time remaining we'll let you know who some of our favorites are from the past season. As we digest all this Guy checks the trusty fridge and presents a special brew with a certain Scotchman in mind.



Saturday, October 08, 2011

Slaying The Badger

Slaying The Badger by Richard Moore,
courtesy from Velopress.

Given the opportunity, I'd like to buy Richard Moore a beer. The Scottish author (also an ex-racer who represented his home country at the 1998 Commonwealth games) has written another great book, Slaying the Badger - LeMond, Hinault and the Greatest Ever Tour de France. This latest effort, following on from his bio of Robert Millar (also a must read) is an essential addition to any collection of cycling books.

While one might quibble over the title, Moore makes a strong case that the rivalry between Greg LeMond and Bernard 'The Badger' Hinault at the 1986 Tour de France produced the most exciting race in history. Moore goes behind the scenes to interview all the key players (including the two protagonists) in what surely must be the most thorough treatment of a much debated question: did Hinault betray his promise to teammate LeMond and try and pull the 1986 Tour out from under him? Hinault is clearly the villain; but he emerges not so much as a cardboard cut-out of a Hollywood bad guy but more the epitome of an old-school pro cyclist - totally in the game for himself and his own satisfaction, but not necessarily selfish (his support for teammates at lesser races is well known), and simply doing what he did best: confounding the expectations of history and, ultimately, LeMond himself along the way.

One should not limit oneself to just one cycling book a year, but if the budget is tight, Slaying the Badger would be a good choice. The book is a flashback to an epic era of racing, and even if you think you know the story of the 1986 Tour, this book will surprise you with its detail. Skip the Kindle edition and buy the actual book. Sitting on your shelf, it will be a constant reminder of why our sport is so cool. And if you get the chance to buy Richard Moore a beer, make sure you ask him why the 1986 Tour was better than 1989 - or even 1987, or 2003, or 2011…


Monday, July 25, 2011

Season 2, Stage 7: Post-Tour Edition

I have Tour withdrawal. This morning I intuitively wanted to go online to watch another exciting stage.

Sadly, the Tour is over for another year. Yet, happily it was perhaps the most exciting and riveting edition since 1989; the LeMond vs Fignon battle.

My thoughts are about the past 3 weeks of drama. How could anyone forget it? Guy and I talked about the highs and lows of the first week (here). And, we're celebrating that Cadel Evans has moved into history as the first Aussie rider to win the biggest stage race in the world. Truly a magnificent performance riding with aplomb to finally make that step on the top rung of the podium.

Besides the great ride by Cadel, there's plenty of other riders who rode heroically. We talk about the up and coming riders who were as an important integral part the machinery of this Tour. The French are back with the fine and stunning performance of Pierre Rolland (read Guy's excellent post here). He's the one rider that protected and rode  for Thomas Voeckler and then won the prestigious Alpe d'Huez stage. I believe he is the real deal!

And, Thor Hushovd really had a Thor de France winning 2 stages, TTT & yellow jersey for 9 days. His aggressive riding was stunning especially his descending skills winning into Gap.... remarkable.

Many thanks to Road Holland having sent Guy another beautiful new jersey. I'm anxiously awaiting my new jersey, due shortly. And, I will keep you updated when it arrives.

Also new, I present the new Tour de France issue from Paved Magazine, full of tasty Summer articles always a pleasure to read. Thanks Paved Magazine! Guy reviews an interesting article of the The Pain Principle from Walrus magazine.

We proudly wear two fine cycling caps from Galstudio. A hint: I'm getting set for a famous Spanish race next month!

And all that Tour talk means beer, Guy goes to the trusty fridge for a hoppy one...

Sit back and enjoy our post-Tour podcast... I promise no Tour withdrawal here!


Thursday, July 21, 2011

Paved Magazine... all things French!

© 2011 BikesBooks&Beers

We just received the newest from our supporter, Paved Magazine.

I can only say that it's a fine issue... all things French! We will feature it on the upcoming ...Post Tour Podcast due out Monday July 25th.

Thanks very much Paved Magazine!


Sunday, July 10, 2011

Le Tour de Souvenir

During our stage 6 podcast we featured Tour souvenirs...

Here's a close up and the two items are from the 2003 Centenaire du Tour de France: the bidon and poster.

Vive le Tour!

Saturday, July 09, 2011

Norse Reward

Odin's revenge!

Norse mythology is legendary and Odin is the father of the Gods, King of Asgard, Lord of War, Death and Knowledge.

Guy and I discovered this very wicked beer on our recent podcast, stage 6: Week One, Thor de France.

Today's stage 7 to Super Besse is the first stage in the mountains and The God of Thunder is destined for further greatness. Hushovd put the hammer down and pulled off yet, another top ride. He placed 16th and was in the chasing peloton including climbers: the Schleck brothers, Contador & Evans.

The Norwegian stays in yellow and I dedicate this 11% Norse beer to his strong riding. 

And, why not?

Odin had a famous son named... Thor!


Friday, July 08, 2011

Season 2, Stage 6: Week One, Thor de France.

The first week of le Tour is almost over and one sure thing is that it's turning out to be one of the most exciting editions.

Guy and I are back and talk about the highs and lows that make up this intriguing first week of racing. The God of Thunder: Thor Hushovd has worn the yellow jersey for six days and along with Tyler Farrars' stage 3 victory has given massive success to their Garmin-Cervelo team. It's historical, a first Tour stage win & yellow jersey for the American squad.

And, the Norwegian fun keeps rolling with Edvald Boasson Hagen (Sky) winning his first Tour stage. So, it makes good sense that we offer a toast to these two Vikings with a special Norse beer.

Ok, the Tour is the greatest bike race in the world, no? Well, Guy reveals why in his book review, 'Tourman: The Men Who Made The Tour de France', by Les Woodland. He's one of my favorite writers having a vast, colorful knowledge of this great race.

I come equipped wearing another fine handmade cycling cap from Galstudio. And, Guy has news from our sponsor Road Holland whilst proudly sporting his RoadHolland cycling jersey.

I'm wearing the Weight of the Nation t-shirt in support for Ryder Hesjedal. He's in a tough position but the mountains are coming where he will shine. We can only be optimistic, as Cadel Evans certainly looks highly motivated to go for all the marbles.

This Thor de France is entering the mountains and it's going to get more exciting!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

On Tour

Bradley Wiggins, photos by Scott Mitchell

This release was not well publicized in North America but is well worth checking out. Anyone who read Bradley Wiggins' autobiography, In Pursuit of Glory, will know that he is an interesting character and a thoughtful writer. This book covers his somewhat disastrous Tour de France campaign in 2010. He'd just moved from Garmin-Slipstream to the UK-based Team Sky, amid much fanfare and after his very impressive 4th place in the 2009 Tour.

But his 2010 race did not go to plan and Wiggins documents this in an open and honest way in the book (primarily blaming a Giro that was too tough, and not enough altitude training). To add colour - in this case black and white - a "fellow mod" and friend Scott Mitchell provides some stunning photographs to go with the prose. The overall style of the book is a little 'Le Metier' but Mitchell, who is not normally a sports photag, has a different eye for the action that adds a new visual element.

With the 2011 Tour starting just this weekend, Wiggins must surely be feeling more confident - his Dauphine victory and now a British road-race title. David Millar has said that a podium position is probably out of reach, but that remains to be seen. Perhaps we'll be able to read all about it in another 'on tour' book next year.