Pain and Privilege: Inside Le Tour 

Sophie Smith

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.


Pub Date

June 2022

















Every year the Tour de France puts on one of the great viewing spectacles in sport, showcasing extraordinary human endurance 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.

Pain and Privilege 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. Team staff, sports scientists, psychologists, media and dignitaries all contribute to draw a more complex and confronting portrait of the world's grandest sporting spectacle.

With exclusive contributions from Richie Porte, Cadel Evans, Chris Froome, Michael Matthews, Caleb Ewan, Sam Bennett, Robbie McEwen, Michael Mørkøv, Jens Debusschere, Matt White, Allan Peiper, Cherie Pridham, Enrico Poitschke, Mathew Hayman, Simon Clarke, Marcel Kittel and Luke Durbridge.

Plus, insights from Geraint Thomas, Mark Cavendish, Patrick Lefevere, David Brailsford, Tadej Pogačar and more.

Praise for Pain and Privilege

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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.

‘Smith has produced an entertaining book that examines all aspects of the world's biggest annual sporting event. Easy to dip into, Pain & Privilege contains a wealth of information, presented in an immediate and appealing way.’

The Canberra Times