Each day we will be telling you a little more about one of the titles shortlisted for the inaugural SweetSpot Cycling Book of the Year award.

Cycling writer Brendan Gallagher has provided a short synopsis on each book and today is the turn of the eleventh title on the shortlist Mapping Le Tour de France by Ellis Bacon published by Collins.

A treat for those who will happily sit down with a mug of coffee and read a map or route book like a newspaper, especially when it involves a virtual trip down memory lane with old dramas and races being re-lived in your mind. There were many excellent 100th Anniversary Tour de France books this summer but this is the volume that for many best conjured up the essence of those 100 editions through the simple notion of reproducing all 100 race routes in map form.

Constantly you are reminded of the sheer geographical scope of the race and how it evolved from a basic perimeter tour of the country to something much more complicated. The length and severity of some of the earlier stages is mind blowing and gives substance to the notion of Tour founder Henri Desgrange who insisted that is ideal Tour would be one which was so hard that only rider finished! Among many other qualities this is a book to have constantly on hand when you read other Tour books and histories.


If you think Mapping Le Tour de France is a deserving winner you can now vote, here. By voting you will automatically be entered into a prize draw, in which the winner receives all 12 shortlisted titles in the ultimate cycling book hamper! There will also be three of the winning books available for runners up.

If you don’t already, you can follow Ellis on Twitter here and can show your support by using the #cyclingbook

If you like the sound of Brendan’s review and wish to have a read for yourself you can purchase a copy, here.