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Summary

The Tour de France is always one of the most spectacular and dramatic events in sports. But the 1998 Tour provided drama like no other. As the opening stages in Ireland unfolded, the Festina team's soigneur, Willy Voet, was arrested at the French-Belgian border with a carload of drugs. Raid upon police raid followed, with arrest after arrest hammering the Tour. In protest, there were riders' strikes and go-slows, with several squads withdrawing en masse and one expelled. By the time the Tour reached Paris, just 96 of the 189 starters remained, and of those 189 starters, more than a quarter were later reported to have doped. The 1998 "Tour de Farce's" status as one of the most scandal-struck sporting events in history was confirmed.

Voet's arrest was just the beginning of cycling's biggest mass doping controversy - what became known as the Festina affair. It all but destroyed professional cycling as the credibility of the entire sport was called into question, and the cycling family began to split apart even as, ironically, the 1998 Tour was also one of the best races in years.

The End of the Road is the first book in English to provide in-depth analysis and a colorful evocation of the tumultuous events of the 1998 Tour. Alasdair Fotheringham uncovers how the world's biggest bike race sank into such scandal. He explores its long-term consequences and what, if any, lessons were learned.

©2016 Bloomsbury Publishing PLC (P)2017 Leafblower Audio LLC DBA Sportybooks

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  • 25-07-17

Bad bad bad!

Less the story of the Festina Affair and more 101 stories and anecdotes from the 1998 tour told in cringe worthy and annoying accents that do nothing to help follow the thread. Fair to say I heard this more than listened to it.

2 people found this helpful

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A Good topic spoilt by the headmaster

Tim Reynolds narrates like he is the Headmaster chiding his assembly of kids! I'm sure with a better narrator this book would have achieved a 2star, unfortunately, it is long-winded, laborious, and difficult to absorb oneself. Waking up at 2am in the morning not being able to return to sleep, made this book useful returning me back to the land of nod in 10mins!

1 person found this helpful

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Terrible

Barely acceptable book ruined by an utterly terrible reading. Reader makes it sound like a 1950s public service announcement. Couldn’t even finish it.

1 person found this helpful

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Awfully narrated

Unfortunately I couldn’t listen to more than an hour of this, the narrators voice was beyond grating 😡☹️

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Good book. Didn't enjoy the narration

Good book on the 98 Tour saga. Didn't really enjoy the narrator trying his hand at all manner of different accents. Obviously there were a lot of people to portray so hard to get accents right so why bother with them at all. Good story tho. Enlightening. Hopefully it never happens again.

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Hmmm...not sure

Did not enjoy the narration - terrible attempts at accents just put me off.
The story just doesn't seem consistent to me - the main theme being the story of drugs in cycling, dragging out every detail (TOO much trivial detail) and the perpetrators comments just quoted like that's an excuse; and then going off on a tangent to sing the praises of (the undoubtably likeable character) Marco Pantani, as big a drug cheat as anyone - weird!
I really didn't like how the story just used quotes from people who were embroiled in the whole thing, like that was the whole story...just didn't hang well together,
I wouldn't bother with this one.

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Tidy book.

Dude that's reading it needs to stop trying so hard and just read rather than treating it as an audition for his next acting job. Bit frustrating. Awesome book mind.

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Awful narration

Unfortunately the poor narration ruins what is actually a very interesting book. I would recommend buying a paper copy instead.

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very interesting but very hard going

I've been a big cycling fan since 2011 and before that was interested and aware but wouldn't say I was a big fan, anyway. I had curious about the 1998 Tour and what triggered the Anti-Doping culture (only to be smashed by a certain Texan).
It was a good 'read' and did cover everything but found it jumping around a bit, I think this is because a lot of the people weren't people I knew.
It was interesting so don't let me put you off but be prepared for a heavy 'read'.

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  • E. J. Fronczek
  • 18-03-17

Well researched and written.

I enjoyed getting book overall. detailed and well researched. I could have done without the readers voices when reading quotes and his tendency to adopt an inflection from a 50s radio broadcast.

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  • RunsLikeAWelshman
  • 08-03-18

Performance is unbearable

The book is great, and I plan on buying the print version. But four chapters in, I could no longer bear the performance. It is a terrible match for the subject: overly theatrical, pedantic style reminiscent of a bad Victorian play. The accents in quotes are cringe-worthy, and the pronounciation of Flemish names is terrible (the French ones are ok). Awful.

1 person found this helpful