From small beginnings to doping scandals: a history of the Tour de France as reported by the Guardian and Observer.
Having started in 1903 as a publicity stunt for an ailing French newspaper, the Tour de France is now the world's greatest sporting spectacle. Back then, cyclists raced alone through the night, sometimes at the risk of being beaten up. Today's riders pedal 3,500 km around the French countryside, cheered on by huge roadside crowds and accompanied by the mighty caravan of media, sponsors and support staff that keep the wheels turning. But one thing hasn't changed: the Tour remains just as awe-inspiring a test of mental and physical stamina as it has always been.
The Tour de France ... to the bitter end is the best of over a century of Guardian and Observer Tour reporting, with pieces from Christopher Brasher, Michael Davie, Geoffrey Nicholson, WIlliam Fotheringham, Richard Williams, Phil Liggett and many other writers seduced by the power of the peloton.
Tour 2012 T-shirt
The Yellow jersey is British for the first time. Kit yourself out in yellow this summer, thanks to the new Tour t-shirt designed by Philosophy Football to celebrate this extraordinary sporting moment. It's the perfect gear for pedalling up and down the High Street, picturing yourself clinching stage wins and beating the clock in the time trial.
Buy The Tour de France... to the bitter end book with the t-shirt for just £19.99 (plus £2.95 p&p), saving £3 off RRP. Strictly unofficial, available in sizes S-XXL plus women's fitted and child (9-12 years).
Click here to order your book and shirt, or call 01273 472721.