11 October 2011

Recommended Reading: 2012 Grand Tours

In search of the perfect grand tour
Yesterday John Wilcockson, of VeloNews, published a lengthy (but worth wading through) description of the expected route and stages of both the 2012 Giro d'Italia and the 2012 Tour de France, titled In search of the perfect grand tour. I am certain Wilcockson needed to rush this article to press after leaks exposed the routes well ahead of plans, but his article is timely and full of excellent information. 
John Wilcockson is the author of a number of books on the Tour de France. He extensively understands the history and terrain used by the race directors of the Grand Tours in France and Italy. His article In search of the perfect grand tour, is like embarking on an armchair bike ride through the stages of the Tours. For those of us who know some of the cities and mountains, it is a joy to read his description with imagination as he guides us through France and Italy. All that is missing is the human experience, the beautiful unknown of sport, that builds our anticipation and holds our attention for weeks every year.
Author John Wilcockson
John Wilcockson has been covering the Tour de France for over forty-years. I have a number of his books on my bookshelf, if you are a fan, chances are you can say the same. I found this short bio of the author: A graduate of the University of London, John Wilcockson was the first-ever cycling correspondent of The Times. He has edited numerous cycling magazines. For his journalistic services to the Tour de France, Wilcockson was presented with the Medaille de la Reconnaissance and the Plaque de la Reconnaissance du Tour by the race's organizers.
In adding this photo above, I realized I saw John Wilcockson at the Tour of California this year in Claremont, CA. He stood out in the crowd, I thought, who is that man who looks like a professor? I would have said hello (and perhaps a thank you for teaching me so much through his writing) if I had put the pieces of the puzzle together on that day. John Wilcockson writes a regular column at VeloNews. Read more articles here: John Wilcockson's cycling topics for VeloNews. I would bet he could win any Tour de France trivia contest.