The Secret Life of the Tour de France
Shortlisted for the 2008 William Hill Sports Book of the Year - an insider's story of ten years following the Tour de France, and of how a sport has been corrupted by commercialism, scandal and drugs. Now revised and updated.
For Jeremy Whittle, there isn't much in life as spectacular as the Tour de France: sweat-streaked, taut and burnished athletes toiling across vast and ancient European landscapes, hundreds of thousands of fans lining the route. The twisting Mediterranean roads, the jerseys, the peloton in full flight - these have become as familiar to him as the lines around his eyes. And then there are the riders: men of almost superhuman capabilities, men who have become his friends, men whose stories he has written day in day out for the past decade. But even the biggest fan can one day wake up to find that he has lost his faith.
We all want to believe in our heroes. That's why Jeremy got into cycling. But what happens when you can't? When you've seen too many positive dope tests, when you've been lied to too many times, when your sport is destroying itself from within?
Bad Blood is the story of Jeremy Whittle's journey from unquestioning fan to Tour de France insider and confirmed sceptic. It's about broken friendships and a sport divided; about having to choose sides in the war against doping; about how galloping greed and corporate opportunism have led the Tour de France to the brink of destruction. Part personal memoir, part devastating exposé of a sport torn apart by drugs and scandal, Bad Blood is a love letter to one man's past, and a warning to cycling's future.
Praise for Bad Blood
Whatever you think about doping, you must read this book ... Well-balanced, considered, ...compellingRouleur
Deeply personal, engaging... nuanced, complicatedScotsman
A warts-and-all portrait of a sport that has more warts than a sackful of toadsDaily Telegraph