Two Days in Yorkshire

Book Cover Tour De France web

We’ve just ordered Peter Cossins and Andrew Denton’s ”Two Days in Yorkshire – The official commemorative book of the Yorksire Grand Depart” Yorkshire’s grandest weekend is officially recorded in ‘Two Days in Yorkshire’, the commemorative book of the Yorkshire Grand Départ, which is launched today, Tuesday July 22.

Welcome to Yorkshire, who delivered the 2014 Tour de France Grand Départ, have teamed up with official photographer Simon Wilkinson, regarded as one of the country’s leading sports photographers, and his team at Yorkshire-based picture agency to produce a memento of the grandest of Grand Départs.

Written by cycling author Peter Cossins and Welcome to Yorkshire’s Andrew Denton, ‘Two Days in Yorkshire’ features over 200 stunning images taken by the world’s best cycling and sports photographers.

The book reveals the inside story of how, against seemingly impossible odds, Yorkshire won the 2014 Grand Départ, as well as capturing the unforgettable sights and stories of two historic days.

Simon Wilkinson said: “As part of our preparations for the Tour we drove the route a few times, with stunning locations like Buttertubs popping up across both days. I mentioned the idea of a coffee-table book to Gary Verity and his team at the beginning of 2014. We all thought, in principle, it would make a great memento of the Grand Depart – but I had some doubts if we would actually have the material to fill a book, especially if the weather went against us. Now, two weeks on, we’ve been blown away by the images we’ve seen – and they are all in this book.”

Gary Verity, chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, said: “We made history that weekend, and it’s only right that there should be a record that people will keep and look through over the years to remind them of the excitement and the spectacle. God’s sun shone on His own county that weekend, giving us the iconic ‘blue sky’ imagery of Le Tour in Yorkshire. That and the work of some very talented photographers meant we got exactly what we needed to create a brilliant book.”


#tdfleeds ‘My Time’

My TimeMy Time by Sir Bradley Wiggins. On 22 July 2012 Bradley Wiggins made history as the first British cyclist to win the Tour de France. Ten days later at the London Olympic Games he won the time trial to become his country’s most decorated Olympian. In an instant ‘Wiggo’, the kid from Kilburn, was a national hero.

Two years previously, however, Wiggins had been staring into the abyss. His much-hyped attempt to conquer the 2010 Tour de France had ended in public humiliation. Poor results and indifferent form left him facing the sack from Team Sky. And then he was hit with the tragic news of the death of his granddad, George, the man who had raised him as a young boy. At rock bottom, Wiggins had to reach deep inside himself and find the strength to fight his way back.

Outspoken, honest, intelligent and fearless, Wiggins has been hailed as the people’s champion. In My Time he tells the story of the remarkable journey that led him from his lowest ebb to win the world’s toughest race. In his own words he reveals the personal anguish that has driven him on and what it’s like behind the scenes at Team Sky: the brutal training regimes, the sacrifices and his views on his teammates and rivals. He talks too about his anger at the spectre of doping that pursues his sport, how he dealt with the rush of taking Olympic gold and above all what it takes to be the greatest.

#tdfleeds ‘Slaying the Badger’

Slaying the Badger: LeMond, Hinault and the greatest ever Tour de FranceA fantastic read, Slaying the Badger: LeMond, Hinault and the greatest ever Tour de France by Richard Moore goes back into the history of the Tour to relive the adrenaline, the agony, the camaraderie, the betrayals and the pure exhilaration of the 1986 Tour de France, which saw an epic battle between veteran Bernard Hinault and the young American, Greg LeMond,

 Bernard ‘The Badger’ Hinault  is rated as one of the all time cycling greats. ‘Slaying the Badger’  tells the story of his promise to help Greg LeMond win the ’86 tour.

In 1985,  Hinault had received help from Greg LeMond in securing his final Tour win.  He had battled and fought during the final week with two black eyes and a broken nose – it was heroic stuff. ‘It was Hinault through and through – courage, talent and stubbornness. A year later Hinault kept his promise by helping LeMond to win the Tour, though his exact role in delivering LeMond to the finish line, and his perceived reticence in fulfilling that promise, has been the subject of much scrutiny and controversy’.

#tdfleeds ‘Inside Team Sky’

Inside Team SkyAs Team Sky make another run for the Yellow Jersey, how about this great read from top sportswriter and award winning journalist David Walsh, who brings an insider’s view to the 2013 race.

Inside Team Sky tells the story of how Team  Sky were under pressure  to repeat their fantastic success  after their victory with Bradley Wiggins in the 2012 Tour de France in the 2013 race. When Bradley Wiggins had to pull out of the defence of his yellow jersey, Chris Froome, who had finished as runner-up in 2012 became the team’s focal point.

Could he secure back-to-back victories for the UK and for Team Sky? With team principal Sir Dave Brailsford at the helm, expectations were high. David Walsh was embedded within the team  and he provides a definitive account of a dramatic race that gripped cycling fans around the world.

David Walsh has also written books about Lance Armstrong –  LA Confidential and 5* read and bestseller Seven Deadly Sins: My Pursuit of Lance Armstong 

#tdfleeds ‘The Climb’ by Chris Froome

The climbAnother interesting cycling read to celebrate this Saturday’s Grand Depart of the Tour de France from Leeds is the autobiography of Chris Froome, the 2013 Tour winner.

Almost dropped by Team Sky a couple of years ago because of poor results, he was unaware that he was actually battling multiple debilitating and undiagnosed illnesses. Some of these were contracted in his boyhood in Kenya and ‘The Climb’ tells the fascinating and rather extraordinary story of his journey from a young boy riding around Nairobi through townships and past wild animals, and with few opportunities for an aspiring cyclist, to his unforgettable yellow jersey victory in the 2013 Tour.

Brought up by his mum in Kenya, he started cycling as a boy on a mountain bike under the wing of David Kinjah, whose philosophy was ‘you just get on a bike and go.’

He’s since had to cope with her death of his mother and battle his way to the top – his early results were poor! The books also chronicles his public rivalry with Bradley Wiggins and, most recently, the pressures of Lance Armstrong’s legacy.

#tdfleeds ‘Put me back on the bike’

Put me back on my bike: in search of Tom SimpsonThe Tour de France starts in Leeds on Saturday and one of the books we’ve been reading is Put me back on the bike’ by William Fotheringham. It’s about Tom Simpson, Olympic gold medallist, world champion and first Briton to wear the fabled yellow jersey of the Tour de France. He died a tragic death on the barren moonscape that is Mont Ventoux during the 1967 tour.

The book details Simpson’s rise to cycling fame from working class roots, his move to France with £100 in his pocket and his pursuit of winning at all costs and what motivated him.

He was a man of contradictions, one of the first cyclists to admit to using drugs or ‘tonics’ as they were often called, and a self publicist ahead of his time. He was also accused of fixing racesCycling is my life yet despite his flaws, ‘Major Tom’ as he was known was deeply mourned. The part about his actual death shows someone with an obsessive will to win and is very affecting. Highly recommended.

Tom Simpson wrote his own autobiography ‘Cycling is my Life’