For the 100th edition of the world's greatest bike race, and the seventh annual edition of the sport's greatest cycling publication, we sent seven writers and photographers on the road at the Tour de France, each given three stages to record their individual takes on La Grande Boucle. Sebastian Schels captures the rugged beauty of Corsica, contrasting empty mountains with populous roads. Former Guardian sports writer Richard Williams recalls a dramatic grand depart, with numerous crashes and a stuck team bus. Photographer and writer Geoff Waugh follows two careers, one beginning, the other drawing to a close. Danny van Poppel, 19, became the youngest Tour rider since the Second World War, making an immediate impression with third place on the opening stage in Bastia. The hugely popular Jens Voigt, meanwhile, went out in style with numerous attacks during his final Tour at the age of 41. The tiny village of Saint-Beat bordering the Pyrenees was devastated by flash floods in late June. Timm Kolln and Oliver Nilsson-Julien witness proud locals preparing for the arrival of stage 9 amidst destroyed homes and businesses.
Eurosport commentators Carlton Kirby and Sean Kelly spend three weeks in a cramped TV booth on the finish line at each day's stage. Robert Wyatt trains his lens on the broadcasters at Mont Saint-Michel, while Ian Cleverly goes walkabout with roving reporter - and recently retired pro cyclist - Rob Hayles as he interviews riders and managers on the start line. Taz Darling and Rouleur Editor Guy Andrews get up close and personal with the Tour organisation. Race Director Christian Prudhomme and his team conjured up one of the best Tours in decades. Taz and Guy find out how on the road to Mont Ventoux. Patience is a prerequisite of Tour-watching. Paolo Ciaberta finds fans on Alpe d'Huez who have been in position for days. Andy McGrath asks them why, as well as reporting on the Froome phenomenon and a disastrous race for the home nation. Jakob Kristian Sorensen and Morten Okbo hook up with Russian team Katusha for the final three stages to Paris - one day in the race car, the next witnessing tears of relief, then finally reaching the Champs-Elysees and tears of joy at an emotional after-party in the capital city. 3,404 kilometres, 21 stages, 21 stories.
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC