Review: 100 Greatest Cycling Climbs of the Tour De France

Book Review

100 Greatest Cycling Climbs of the Tour De France

Simon Warren

The latest instalment in the 100 Greatest Cycling Climbs series, Simon Warren rides, photographs, describes, maps and profiles the 100 greatest climbs of the Tour de France. The jersey-pocket sized book is available to London Cycling Campaign members at the special offer price of £7.99. Visit the dedicated member's page (details on the reverse of your membership card) for information on how to buy.




This is the latest in Simon Warren’s series of books cataloguing the toughest, steepest and most beautiful cycling climbs – he covered the UK’s climbs in two volumes before venturing abroad.

The one page-per-climb format makes it perfect for flicking through when the fancy takes you, and this is a great book for inspiring wanderlust.

The selection of climbs is well chosen – all of the Tour de France greats are in there – the Alpe, Tourmalet and Ventoux included, but there is also a smattering of lesser-known ascents – crucial info for those wanting to escape the crowds and take the road less travelled.

Each of the French mountain ranges gets a section – and that means not only the Alps and Pyrenees, but also the Vosges and the Massif Central – which we found particularly pleasing having had some fantastic rides in these often overlooked bits of France.

The short descriptions which accompany each climb are both personal and pithy, but focus on the experience of tackling the gradient rather than the history or scenery of the mountain.  If we have a criticism of this book, it would be that the photos seem to have something of an obsession with tarmac – one close-up of the road surface on a hairpin bend looks much like any other, and it would have been nice to have had a few more panoramic shots – these are after all some of the most beautiful places in the world!

This is, however a very well selected collection of the best climbs in France – a great companion to watching the Tour de France, and the perfect size to slip into your jersey pocket when you set off for the hills. 


Charlie Game