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The Tour de France – To The Bitter End

             Edited by William Fotheringham

                   Résumé by Nigel Scales

The astute, discerning reader (so all of you..) will have noticed the title
describes the book as “edited by” rather than “written by” William
Fotheringham. This is neither accidental, nor a slur on the character or
writing ability of Mr Fotheringham, whose books I have always enjoyed
reading. As you no doubt inferred, the book contains a collection of articles
on our great sport, published over the years in the Guardian and Observer
newspapers. [Did you notice how I complimented you, gentle
reader/clubmate, three times in this opening section and addressed you
by (generic) name as well as playing the “clubmate” card. By now we’ve
hopefully bonded nicely and you have decided I must be an intelligent sort
of chap, to have realised your intelligence so quickly and are more likely to
carry on reading. Giving this little game away doesn’t hurt because you
were obviously smart enough to know what I was doing anyway (four..). It
may, however remind you to be more careful when reading anything from a
political party source…]

So, to the book. Read it. It’s in a form that you can pick up/put down
quickly because the individual articles are usually short, reflecting the
interest level in cycling at the time and edited at the time to be clear and
concise. For older members who had the money to afford the papers,
frequented libraries where they could be accessed or were not averse to
raiding dustbins or mugging paper-boys [I’ve dropped the flattery] the
articles may be a trip down memory lane. For younger DLN readers, looking
back at the reports of the time, and the incidents described may shed a
different light on events they may have read about elsewhere or throw up
others that are new territory. I fall somewhere between both extremes and
enjoyed putting the current nature of the spot into a historic perspective.
Even though I thought I had a good background knowledge, there was a lot
of new stuff for me, and new angles on other stories. If in doubt, flick
though a copy in the library or a bookshop first.

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