Sunday, 10 August 2014

Book Review: Etape - Richard Moore

I have read a lot of Richard Moore's books, sadly the only one I've reviewed on here is Sky's The Limit, his inside view of Sky's first season in road racing. While a good book it wasn't his best. Sadly Sky didn't hit the heights in their first year that they'd hoped and have since achieved, leaving less fodder for Moore. Heroes, Villains and Veledromes was all about "Britain's Track Cycling Revolution" but, not in a bad way, read very much like a biography of Chris Hoy. His book Slaying The Badger was excellent, a book on the 1986 tour, his favourite tour. It told of the battle between Greg LeMond (eventual winner of the tour three times) and Bernard 'The Badger' Hinault (five times winner of the tour). While a slow starter it really built up and the finish had me on the edge of my seat, if it's possible with a book.

Etape is about the defining stages of the Tour and it really is. It covers Cavendish, Armstrong and other major names but also smaller characters who have shaped the tour in one way or another. He covers the stage that produced the largest winning margin, he covers the pavé, the famous cobbles that pop up now and again, he covers a mountain top finishes and the strangest non contest when two riders sit up and decide not to contest a stage they are leading because their teams hate each other so much.

This book offers a number of new inside stories from the tour, ones that I haven't heard before despite having read close to forty books on cycling. I wouldn't say it's all 'untold stories' as the cover suggests but it does cover them from different or new angles. Not only that but it was a great accompaniment to this years tour. The book of course opens with a prologue stage, accident or not it then covered the cobbles just as this year's tour hit the bone shaking route that would in part decide this year's winner of the yellow jersey. As it's is a book made up of 'stages' you can pick up and put the book down after each chapter knowing next time will be a new story and something fresh. A great read, well done Richard Moore.

No comments:

Post a Comment