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Publisher's Summary

This telling of the 2021 Tour de France is an addition to our two-volume The Story of the Tour de France: How a Newspaper Promotion Became the Greatest Sporting Event in the World, and two supplements, 2019: A Year of New Faces and 2020: The Tour During COVID-19: Better Late than Never. Volume One told the story of the Tour’s origins and of each edition of the race from 1903 through 1975 - the year Bernard Thévenet was able to conquer the Belgian Lion, Eddy Merckx, and hold the great racer to five Tour wins. 

Volume Two picked up the race in 1976 with super-climber Lucien van Impe’s victory and took it through 2018 and Welshman Geraint Thomas’ 111-second win over Tom Dumoulin.

The 2019 race had a stunning surprise winner in 22-year-old Egan Bernal, the youngest rider to wear the race-leader’s Yellow Jersey in Paris since that jersey was first awarded in 1919, and the third-youngest rider ever to have won the Tour de France. 

The 2020 race was no less surprising. Slovenian racer Tadej Pogaar was sitting in second place after stage 19, just 57 seconds behind fellow Slovenian and race leader Primož Rogli. Then in the 2020 Tour’s penultimate stage, a 36.2-kilometer individual time trial, Pogaar delivered a stunning ride, winning the stage and beating Rogli by one minute 56 seconds. That superb effort made Rogli the winner of the 2020 Tour de France. He became the first rider since Laurent Fignon in 1983 to win the Tour on his first attempt. He did more than win the General Classification. He also won the mountains classification and was the best young rider. Of the four individual prizes the Tour puts up for grabs, Pogaar won three of them. And at 21 years old, he is also the second-youngest rider to win the Tour since Henri Cornet won the race’s second edition in 1904.

Except for the two world wars, the Tour has been run annually since that 1903 race, and yearly addendums seem the best way to keep telling the story. So please join us as we go on the 108th trip around La Belle France.

©2021 Bill McGann (P)2021 Bill McGann
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

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