With the Tour de France hitting its 100th edition this year, the Ventoux-like pile of TdF books, games and special edition gear at BikeRadar grows every day. Here’s a run down on some of our favourite recent arrivals.
Le Tour 100, by Peter Cossins et al, Octopus Books, £25/US$29.99
Tour de France fact fiends will love this book, co-authored by former Procycling editor, Peter Cossins. The book takes readers through the action on 100 legendary stages. From the race’s first foray into the mountains in 1905 when it scaled the Ballon d’Alsace in north east France, to Andy Schleck’s stunning victory on the summit of the Galibier in 2011, most years get a look-in. Each featured stage carries a CGI map of the route, with panels explaining how the action unfolded. As a handy appendix, the book carries a summary of every Tour since 1903, and the overall jersey winners of each race.
Le Tour 100, authored by Peter Cossins, former Procycling editor
Polar RC3 GPS TdF BIKE watch, £269/US$369.95
Polar RC3 GPS TdF BIKE watch
The Polar RC3 TdF watch is serious technology dressed in Tour livery. The special edition watch is one of the lightest (58g) and slimmest (1.4cm in depth) GPS watches about, and includes real-time altitude measurement along with Polar’s Smart Coaching features.
Procycling Manager, Tour de France Edition, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, £39.99
Anybody who fancies themselves as a master cycling tactician can show off their race craft on Le Tour de France from the makers of Procycling Manager for consoles. Players balance the strengths and weaknesses of their chosen team and develop plans to outwit opponents. The action takes place over same terrain as this year’s Tour and features the named riders who should be in contention at this year’s race. Plus, it could be a virtual chance to help Bradley Wiggins - now out of the real-life race because of illness and injury - to realise his fantasy and defend his 2012 crown.
Le Tour de France 2013 for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3
Oakley Tour de France Half Jacket 2.0, £130/US$140
No maillot jaune hue in Oakley’s nod to the world’s biggest sporting event. Instead, the polarized Half Jacket 2.0 model features lilac grippers and a subtle Tour de France logo etched into the corner of the left lens. Other Oakley models with Tour editions this year are the Fuel Cell, RadarLock XL Straight Stem and RadarLock Path.
Oakley Tour de France Half Jacket 2.0
The Tour de France Miscellany by John White, Carlton Books, £9.99
The Flea of Torrevelega – 45kg climbing specialist Vincente Trueba who was the first winner of the polka dot jersey – gets an entry in this equally pint-sized eclectic miscellany of facts and figures from the Tour. The breadth of facts, figures and vignettes is broad and gives a great impression of what makes the Grand Boucle so fascinating. A useful reference book to idle away time between the action.
The Tour de France Miscellany, by John White
Le Tour de France: The Official Treasures, Serge Laget et al, Carlton Books, £50/US$75
Tour souvenir hunters will like this weighty box packed with memorabilia of the race, including posters, post cards and shopping lists of a past Tour rider’s dietary requirements. At its heart is a book charting the evolution of the race, with a foreword by five-time race winner, Bernard Hinault. It’s not cheap, however; at a hefty £50 this is one for the serious collectors.
Le Tour de France: The Official Treasures
Tour de France 100, by Richard Moore, VeloPress, US$35
In 1904, the founder of the Tour de France lamented, “The Tour is finished. It has died of its success, of the blind passions that it unleashed, the abuse and the dirty suspicions.” This year as the Tour celebrates its 100th edition this July, Tour de France 100 looks back at the myriad dramas and beauty of the race over the years in a 224-page hardback book.
The book is written by acclaimed cycling author Richard Moore, who also wrote In Search of Robert Millar, which won Best Biography at the 2008 British Sports Book Award, and Heroes, Villains and Velodromes, which was long-listed for the William Hill Sports Book of the Year.
Tour de France 100