Join Ned Boulting as he reports on his dozen-th Tour de France, an event in which blokes do amazing things on bikes, and, we’re oft told, the biggest annual sporting event in the world.
101 Damnations is a chance to relive the 2014 race, stage for stage, fall after fall, tantrum by tantrum; just the good bits mind, without all the aerial shots of castles. Or sunflowers. (Though it does wax lyrical about some stunning Alpine scenery . . . and, with the race starting in Yorkshire, even some stunning scenery not far from Bradford).
From Leeds to Paris (how often do you say that?), Ned details the minutiae of his encounters with the likes of Vincenzo Nibali, David Millar, Chris Froome, Chris Boardman (or ‘Broadman’ as some would have it), Marcel Kittel, Mrs Cavendish (Mark’s wife), Peter Sagan and the rest. Their endeavours, achievements, humour and occasional rancour, sit alongside his own decade-long quest for the ideal end-of-race T-shirt.
Ned weaves together the interesting, amusing and unheralded threads of the race itself, and reflects on his own perennial struggle to get round, get on and get by. 101 Damnations encapsulates all that is incredible – and incredibly ordinary – about the greatest race on earth.