Inside Le Tour
A profound insight into the stories behind the image of the Tour de France, showcasing the sacrifice, despair, strategy and chaos of those four weeks in July to reveal a fascinating new perspective on the greatest race on earth.
Every year, the Tour de France puts on one of the great viewing spectacles of the year, showcasing extraordinary human endurance, sporting achievement, and one of the most beautiful countries on the planet. But underneath the facade, it’s a different story – a story of suffering, sacrifice and pain. This is that story.
Inside Le Tour doesn’t glorify the world’s greatest annual sporting event. Instead it gets under the skin of cycling’s cruel super race and describes what the race that unites people from all over the globe is really like, from the laughs to the tears, from the politics to the personal, from inspirational triumph to desperate failure. In 21 chapters, one for each stage of the Tour, Sophie Smith peels back the layers, taking us behind the scenes of the race and the characters who compete in it. The chapters draw on observations as well as first-hand accounts from current-day champions and modern legends of the sport, to their ‘domestique’ teammates, who make the same sacrifices for no international recognition or lucrative contract deal. Team staff, sports scientists, psychologists, agents, media and dignitaries all contribute to draw a more complex and confronting portrait of the world’s grandest sporting spectacle.
About the author
Sophie Smith is a journalist, broadcaster, editor and MC with more than a decade of experience covering elite sports and breaking news for TV, newspapers, magazines and websites. She’s worked as Australian and British press, spending the formative years of her career in London where she specialised in pro cycling. Sophie has reported from eight consecutive Tours de France, the London 2012 Olympics, multiple UCI Road World Championships, plus major meets across Asia, Europe, the Middle East, Australia and USA. She was raised in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs and majored in Journalism at Monash University. Sophie is based in Melbourne and travels globally for stories.