Search for your sports books:

Featured Publisher: Pitch Publishing
The incomparable range of sports books produced by Pitch Publishing over the past few years has ensured theyÕve secured a place as one of the UKÕs leading publishers of sporting material.

From the unashamedly nostalgic Got, Not Got and the thought-provoking If Only: An Alternative History of the Beautiful Game, to Andrew MurtaghÕs superbly-written Gentleman and a Player, Pitch Publishing are always likely to come up with something different. Take a look at their current range: www.pitchpublishing.co.uk




Read Review
<back to archive

Anquetil Alone: The Legend of the Controversial Tour de France Champion By Paul Fournel

Release date: 19th May, 2018
Publisher: Pursuit Books

List Price: £11.99
Our Price: £9.99
You Save: £2 (16%)
Buy Now

The Tour de France, which attracts more than 5 million roadside spectators, making it the world’s largest sporting event in terms of a live audience, gets under way on the beautiful Ile de Noirmoutier in a little over two weeks.

Holiday crowds will gather on the Vendée coast, rigging up roadside barbeques supplemented with a generous selection of local wines, after which the caravel will crawl by two hours before the race, providing sponsors with an opportunity to throw t-shirts, hats and other merchandise to children of all ages. An occasional band will strike up, copious quantities of wine will be consumed and the race will pass by in a blur.

You suspect that five-time Tour winner Jacques Anquetil would have appreciated the crowd’s collective enjoyment.

His rather unfair reputation as something of a cold fish is, to a degree, tempered in Paul Fournel’s unconventional biography, ideally suited to Anquetil’s maverick personality.

During a rest day in Andorra during the 1964 Tour, as his co-riders went out on a short ride, Anquetil instead attended a party where he wolfed down barbequed lamb and plenty of sangria. Finding it difficult to get going when the race resumed the following day and with the formidable Envalira climb ahead, his team director drove to his side and handed him a bidon (water bottle) filled with champagne. It did the trick; from being almost five minutes down on the race leader prior to the champagne, Anquetil would come back to win his fifth Tour.

With matinee idol looks and a profile “like one on a medal,” Anquetil was a detached character whose actions were often interpreted as cocky and egotistical. On the eve of the 1961 Tour, for example, he declared he would take the yellow jersey on the first day and wear it throughout the race. He did. Supreme confidence or boastful?

According to author Paul Fournel, “no man was ever better suited than [Anquetil] to ride a bike” and in this eclectic collection of poetic vignettes, stories and short anecdotes, there is a deep sense of oneness between man and machine; competing on it was part of Anquetil’s soul. If you’re off to the Vendée, take and read this book – it’ll put you in the mood for the start of the Tour on 7th July.


<back to archive


Toolstation


SBOTM Current Top 10

The Jersey: The Secrets Behind the World’s Most Successful Team By Peter Bills
Macmillan
Read Review Buy Now
England: The Biography The Story of English Cricket 1877-2018 By Simon Wilde
Simon & Schuster
Read Review Buy Now
Connie The Marvellous Life of Learie Constantine By Harry Pearson
Little, Brown
Read Review Buy Now
Nice Jumper By Tom Cox
Black Swan
Read Review Buy Now
Rocky Marciano: The Brockton Blockbuster By John Jarrett
Pitch Publishing
Read Review Buy Now
Game Changers How a team of underdogs & scientists discovered what it takes to win By Joao Medeiros
Little, Brown
Read Review Buy Now
A Boy in the Water By Tom Gregory
Particular Books
Read Review Buy Now
The Beautiful Badge The Stories Behind the Football Club Badge By Martyn Routledge & Elspeth Wills
Pitch Publishing
Read Review Buy Now
How To Be A Footballer By Peter Crouch with Tom Fordyce
Ebury Press
Read Review Buy Now
The Little Big Things The Inspirational Memoir of the Year By Henry Fraser
Seven Dials
Read Review Buy Now

Amazon’s top 6 best-sellers

© Sharks Media Ltd 2004 – 2012. Site designed and maintained by Marcus Hamblett for Furydesign.