Read Reading Butcher, Blacksmith, Acrobat, Sweep: The Tale of the First Tour de France (Audio Download): Peter Cossins, Joseph Kloska, Random House Audiobooks: Audible Audiobooks –

Full of adventure, mishaps and audacious attempts at cheating, the first Tour de France inwas a colourful affair Its riders included characters like Maurice The White Bulldog Garin, an Italian born Frenchman whose parents were said to have swapped him for a round of cheese in order to smuggle him into France as ayear old Hippolyte Aucouturier, who, with his jersey of horizontal stripes and handlebar moustache, looked like the villain from a Buster Keaton movie and amateurs like Jean Dargassies, a blacksmith who had no idea what he was letting himself in for Cyclists of the time weren t enthusiastic about this heroic race, dreamed up to revive a struggling newspaper, through roads suited to hooves than wheels, with bikes weighing up tokilos, on a single fixed gear, for three full weeks Assembling enough riders for the race meant paying unemployed amateurs from the suburbs of Paris, including a butcher, a chimney sweep and a circus acrobat There was no indication that this ramshackle cycling pack would draw crowds to throng France s rutted roads and cheer the first Tour heroes But they did, and all thanks to a marketing ruse, cycling would never be the same again Acclaimed cycling writer Peter Cossins takes us through the inaugural Tour de France stage by stage to see where the greatest sporting event of all began Excited to give my bro this as a xmas gift This was an interesting story It did lack interest of a general nature at times with long passages of intricate detail about how stages of the tour unfolded These read like copied passages from newspapers of the time It was still interesting in other parts with the chapters linking the stages stories being readable. I was fascinated to discover the foundations to the Tour de France, this book explains a lot of the mysteries. Not yet read personally but recipient seemed pleased.