Le Tour by Jeremy Whittle
May 24, 2007
Originally published in 2003, this paperback edition of Le Tour has recently been updated by Collins to coincide with the 2007 Tour de France.
The images in the book cover all aspects of the life of the Tour, from road-side spectators to competitors, marshals and majestic scenery.
The Guardian’s Matt Seaton says the book “provides possibly the most vivid and least familiar impressions of the Tour’s real character” because it uses pictures from independent photo agencies rather than the Tour’s official photo archive.
The pictures tend to look less like sports photography and far more like intensely personal photojournalism in the traditions of Paris Match and Life.
There is very little text throughout the book with concise captions providing the context for each picture and only a few paragraphs describing the Tour’s evolution through each decade.
I just loved looking back at what cycling’s pioneers went through as they laid the foundations for legends like Fausto Coppi and Eddy Merckx who in turn prepared it for modern heroes like Bernard Hinault and Lance Armstrong.