Newest Review: ... a history of the Tour or an expert opinion on all things Tour, it's an account of some his experiences in the time he's been doing the ... more
Member Name: Millsy83
How I Won the Yellow Jumper: Dispatches from the Tour de France - Ned Boulting
Advantages: Witty and informative
Disadvantages: Not long enough and a few dodgy pictures!
Like a lot of people, I've recently got into cycling in a big way! I've read quite a few of the books which have been released around the Lance Armstrong doping debacle, and I was looking for something a little bit more light-hearted, and this is absolutely perfect.
Anyone who has seen Ned on the ITV cycling coverage will know and appreciate his dry, sarcastic views and this book is written in the same voice. It isn't a history of the Tour or an expert opinion on all things Tour, it's an account of some his experiences in the time he's been doing the Tour coverage - it surprised me to learn that he only started in 2003 - told in Ned's way.
It is interesting to get an insight into how they plan (loosest sense of the word!) and execute the coverage on the TV - including how they get around during the race itself (and there was me thinking Gary Imlach and Chris Boardman were helicoptered, in the lap of luxury!). He details the hard work that goes into the coverage, and the lengths they go to, to get the top stories from the top riders - hiding in hotel lobby's, sitting in press lorries etc.
Ned, by his own admission, starts as a complete novice in terms of his Tour knowledge, and you can see the journey he goes on throughout his time, and you can see his passion growing throughout the book. And it is great to see the rapport with certain riders build.
At times I was laughing out loud at some of the accounts he gives, and all of them add to the interest in the Tour. He doesn't get all preachy on doping, but he gives his opinion on a few characters (Lance, Dave Millar, Floyd Landis etc) which only shows the knowledge that he's amassed in the time he's been covering it.
I would recommend this book to most people, if they like a humourous book, although a lot of the 'characters' might be unfamiliar to people who are not interested in cycling. It is a thoroughly enjoyable read, and I'm just hoping he'll bring out another!
Summary: A must-read for fans of cycling, Ned and humour!
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