Lantern Rouge: The Last Man in the Tour de France
Froome, Wiggins, Mercks --we know the winners of the Tour de France, but Lanterne Rouge tells the forgotten, often inspirational, and occasionally absurd stories of the last-placed rider. We learn of stage winners and former yellow jerseys who tasted life at the other end of the pack; the breakaway leader who stopped for a bottle of wine and then took a wrong turn; the doper whose drug cocktail accidentally slowed him down; and the rider who was recognized as the most combative despite finishing at the back. Max Leonard fl ips the Tour de France on its head and examines what these stories tell us about ourselves, the 99% who don't win the trophy, and forces us to re-examine the meaning of success, failure, and the very nature of sport.
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"A fascinating account that focuses on the many stories, both real and mythical, associated with what is termed Lanterne Rouge, or the cyclist who finishes in last place at the famed Tour de France bike race. Captivating."--Library Journal (starred review)
"Thoughtful, properly researched, and consistently entertaining."--Tim Moore, author of Gironimo!
"Thoughtful and witty."--The Times Literary Supplement
"Leonard extracts the dignity that sometimes exists in sporting failure; this is not the world of Armstrong, Keane, or Pietersen and it is all the more appealing because of that."--The Observer (London)