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1923

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1923 Synopsis

'An absorbing mix of historical sleuthing and travel writing' The Telegraph '[a] fascinating and often touching book… Wonderful' The Times 'A lovely meditation on the passing of time and echoes of history’ The Observer

The story of an obsession. When cycling commentator Ned Boulting bought a length of Pathé news film featuring a stage of the Tour de France from 1923 he set about learning everything he could about it - taking him on an intriguing journey that encompasses travelogue, history and detective story.

In the autumn of 2020 Ned Boulting (ITV head cycling commentator and Tour de France obsessive) bought a length of Pathé news film from a London auction house. All he knew was it was film from the Tour de France, a long time ago.

Once restored it became clear it was a short sequence of shots from stage 4 of the 1923 Tour de France. No longer than 2.5 minutes long, it featured half a dozen sequences, including a lone rider crossing a bridge. Ned set about learning everything he could about the sequence – studying each frame, face and building – until he had squeezed the meaning from it. It sets him off in fascinating directions, encompassing travelogue, history, mystery story – to explain, to go deeper into this moment in time, captured on his little film.

Join him as he explores the history of cycling and France just five years after WWI – meeting characters like Henri Pélissier, who won the Tour that year but who would within the decade be shot dead by his lover using the same pistol with which his wife had killed herself. And Theophile Beeckman – the lone rider on the bridge.

About This Edition

ISBN: 9781399401548
Publication date: 22nd June 2023
Author: Ned Boulting
Publisher: Bloomsbury Sport an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Format: Hardback
Pagination: 288 pages
Primary Genre Sports
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