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The Sweat of the Gods: Myths and Legends of Bicycle Racing


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The Sweat of the Gods: Myths and Legends of Bicycle Racing
Benjo Maso
Paperback
166 pages

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For a century professional cycle racing on the Continent has been shaped by a complex relationship between three groups: newspapers and television which organised the races and reported them; industry which sponsored the teams of riders; and the riders themselves. They have always needed each other but, because their interests are different, they have continually been in conflict with one another. The one interest they do share is in endowing cycle racing with its unique character - its emphasis on heroism and an extraordinary willingness on the part of the rider to suffer. So, the stories about the races and the riders have always been somewhat taller than the reality. In this most elegant and insightful book, Dutch sociologist Benjo Maso identifies the truth behind the legends of cycle racing, and the Tour de France in particular, as he effortlessly weaves this compelling history of the sport.

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