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