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LEGENDS OF THE TOUR

My debut graphic novel is a collection of stories about the winners and losers in the rich history of the Tour de France. 160 pages about the grit and glory, the agony and the ecstacy. Appeared in seven languages and more than 20.000 copies sold (june 2016)

2014 Graphic novel of the year - The Guardian shortlist

Review by Rachel Cooke, june 2014

'Oh, what a fantastic book this is. Not only is it a wonderfully concise history of the Tour, its competitors' stoicism and skullduggery displayed to compelling effect, it is quite ravishing to behold. I adored it – and the last time I rode a bike, I was on my way to take my finals.'

Starting in Sepia


Starting with Maurice Garin in 1903, when the stages lasted 24 hours, the riders were alone most of the time and the bikes had no brakes or gears, Eugene Christophe welding his broken bicycle back together at the foot of the Pyrenees in 1913, Lucien Buysse winning the hardest Tour stage ever in 1926, Italian legends Gino Bartali versus Fausto Coppi in 1949, Raymond Poulidor shoulder-to-shoulder with Jacques Anguetil on the Puy-de-Dome in 1964, Tommy Simpson's tragic death on Mont Ventoux in 1967, Eddy Merckx’s insatiable appetite for victory in the seventies, Bernard Hinault and Joop Zoetemelk head-to-head on the Champs-Élysées in 1979, The smallest margin ever between winner Greg Lemond and loser Laurent Fignon in 1989, Miguel Indurain's domination in the nineties, Lance Armstrong's fall from grace and ending with the new British heroes Bradley Wiggins and Christopher Froome in 2012 and 2013.

Chapters


1. The beginning - The first years 1903 - 1913, the long hard stages, the growing public interest and the lonelyness in the mountains, all drawn as if it were an old muted film.

2. True heroes - The tough years after the first world war, the introduction of the yellow jersey in 1919, the hardest stage ever in the Tour de France in 1926 and the growing commercial interests in the 30's.

3. The Italian duel - The story of Gino Bartali who won the Tour before and after the second world war, and his famous rivalry with Fausto Coppi. From 1938 to 1952 

4. Dutch mounteneer - Ultra short chapter about Wim van Est and his 70-metre fall in 1951

5. Monsieur Chrono - The rise and fall of Tourlegend Jacques Anquetil, time trial specialist and the first rider to win the Tour de France five times between 1957 and 1964.

6. Mont Ventoux - Short chapter about the tragic death of Tommy Simpson on the Mont Ventoux in 1967.

7. The cannibal - Seen by most as the best race cyclist ever: Five time winner Eddy Merckx. Portrayed in good and bad times, always with hunger for victory.

8. Champs Élysées - The rivalry between Joop Zoetemelk and Bernard Hinault in 1978, 1979 and 1980 and later the same Hinault and Greg Lemond in 1986.

9. Top gear - The stakes grow higher as the influence of big money becomes visible - a chapter about the growing influence of doping, the closest ever gap between the winner (Greg Lemond) and loser (Laurent Fignon) in 1989, the rise of Miguel Indurain and the death of Fabio Casertelli in 1995.

10. After the fall - The biggest chapter in the book starts with the dramatic Tour of 1998 and the dark doping years that followed. Lance Armstrong's glory and deceipt, the fall of the peloton and the rise of the new heroes.

Other languages:

Dutch: 'Helden van de Tour' (2013)
German: 'Unmöglich ist kein Französisches Wort'. (2013)
Danish: 'Tourens Helte' (2014)
French: 'Les légendes du Tour' (2014)
Spanish: 'Las Leyendas del Tour de Francia' (2016)

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