The Sweat of the Gods
For a century professional cycle racing has been shaped by a complex relationship between three groups: newspapers and television which organised the races and reported them; industry which sponsored the teams of riders; and the riders themselves. They’ve always needed each other but, because their interests are different, they have continually been in conflict with one another. The one interest they do share is in endowing cycle racing with its unique character – its emphasis on heroism and an extraordinary willingness to suffer. So, the stories about the races and the riders have always been somewhat taller than the reality. In this elegant and insightful book, Dutch sociologist Benjo Maso identifies the truth behind the legends of cycle racing, and the Tour de France in particular, as he effortlessly weaves this compelling history of the sport.
“The Sweat of the Gods” is an addition haute catégorie to the cycling library.
‘An unassuming classic’
– De Groene, Amsterdammer
Benjo Maso is a sociologist who has worked in a number of Dutch universities. He has been fascinated by cycle racing since his youth. He is also the author of We Were All Gods – The Tour de France of 1948.
Michiel Horn is a Dutch-Canadian historian who remembers some of the exploits of Fausto Coppi, Louison Bobet and Hugo Koblet in their prime.