1923: The Mystery of Lot 212 and a Tour de France Obsession
A WATERSTONES BEST BOOK OF 2023: SPORT LONGLISTED FOR THE WILLIAM HILL SPORTS BOOK OF THE YEAR 2023 'An absorbing mix of historical sleuthing and travel writing' The Telegraph
'[a] fascinating and often touching book… Wonderful' The Times
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.
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