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It was a frenetic and fascinating first week or so at the Tour de France – spills galore, skulduggery, elbows and disqualifications, but as the remnants of the peloton lick their wounds and ready themselves for the big mountain stages, it’s worth reminding ourselves that the Tour de France never fails to enthral and entertain.

The last few weeks have seen the publication of a glut of cycling books and several of them draw inspiration from the history of La Grande Boucle and the lives of some the main protagonists who have animated the great race in the past and we have copies of some of the best up for grabs for some lucky Wheelsuckers members.

Tom Simpson: Bird on the Wire is a sumptuously illustrated biography of one of the most charismatic cyclists to ever grace the Tour. The first British cyclist to ever wear the famous maillot jaune, Simpson was adored by the French public, but his story and subsequent legacy will forever be defined by his death on the hot, dry slopes of Mont Ventoux in 1967.

Those of you familiar with The Velominati ‘Rules’ of cycling will enjoy their latest offering:The Hardmen: Legends of the Cycling Gods, a very funny, idiosyncratic look at the exploits of the 35 cyclists that they identify as the most heroic ever – a reminder, they tell us ‘that suffering on a bike liberates us from our daily lives, and that, in the words of Lance Armstrong, ‘pain is temporary, quitting lasts forever’: proof that even assholes can be insightful.’

Miguel Indurain dominated the Tour in the 1990’s. The gentle Spanish giant won the Tour de France five years on the trot, but then his career unravelled and he was never the same rider again. Indurain: Relentless by Alasdair Fotheringham, provides a comprehensive biography of Miguelón, who some called a machine, but others applauded for the quiet way he went about destroying his rivals.

Radio Four listeners will recognise the format of A History of Cycling in 100 Objects, which offers and entertaining and eclectic journey charting the history of the bicycle and how newspapers and technology shaped the development, from the early wooden ‘boneshakers’ to the flyweight carbon racing bikes used by the contemporary peloton.

ONE LUCKY WINNER will be chosen at random to receive a copy of all FOUR books and THREE runners-up will each receive a copy of Indurain: Relentless, The Hardmen and A History of Cycling in 100 Objects. All you have to do to be in with a chance of winning a copy is to answer this question:

Tom Simpson was the first British cyclist to ever wear the Tour de France yellow jersey, but what was the year?


a) 1962
b) 1963
c) 1964

About the prizes

ONE first prize of 4 books:

  • Tom Simpson: Bird on the Wire by Andy McGrath is published by Bloomsbury Sport in hardback (RRP: £36.00)
  • The Hardmen: Legends of the Cycling Gods by The Velominati is published in hardback by Pursuit (RRP: £12.99)
  • Indurain: Relentless by Alasdair Fotheringham is published by Ebury Press in paperback (RRP: £12.99)
  • A History of Cycling in 100 Objects by Suze Clemitson is published by Bloomsbury in hardback (RRP: 17.99)

THREE runner-up prizes of 3 books each:

  • The Hardmen: Legends of the Cycling Gods by The Velominati
  • Indurain: Relentless by Alasdair Fotheringham
  • A History of Cycling in 100 Objects by Suze Clemitson

*About this Competition

This is a competition just for Wheelsuckers' members. If you're not a member, you can sign-up here - it's free to join and as a member you'll also get access other competitions and a whole range of other great discount offers.

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