In this updated edition of the highly acclaimed Tour de France , Graeme Fife sets the 2008 race in the context of the event's remarkable history, which began in July 1903. Combining meticulous research with a pacey narrative style, he penetrates the mystique of the race and paints a colourful picture of the men whose exploits have given the Tour an enduring universal appeal. The shape of the 2008 race was radically different: a route designed to encourage attacks from lesser riders, the field of potential winners hard to read, the measures taken to root out cheats vigorous and thorough.There was controversy and four riders were kicked out, but the optimism of a clean start seemed well founded. Described as a 'race of transition', it was full of interest, not least in the emergence of Mark Cavendish as the fastest sprinter in the peloton. With tales of great solo rides, amazing fortitude, terrible misfortune and triumph, Tour de France is the definitive account of this extraordinary competition and has been named one of the top-five sports books of the year by both The Independent and The Times .