Part memoir, part travelogue, How I Won the Yellow Jumper is a hilarious account of Ned’s eight years covering that most famous and illustrious of road cycle races, the Tour de France. From inauspicious beginnings, (on his maiden Tour, he referred to the coveted yellow jersey as a ‘jumper’ live on TV - a howler of such magnitude, it is surprising ITV didn’t cancel his contract on the spot) to his emergence as one of the sport’s most respected journalists, Ned recounts his experiences with remarkable honesty.
Quite apart from the obvious cycling anecdotes, the reader is also regaled with tales of male camaraderie, as Ned and his production team struggle to deal with life on the road. Whether it’s an unhelpful SatNav or the constant hunt for launderette facilities, the book has the feeling of a boy’s own adventure story throughout. Add to this the wonderful descriptive passages which evoke the beauty of the French countryside, and the chapter on food which takes the reader on a mouth-watering gastronomic journey, this is a book that has it all. It will appeal to not just the cycling enthusiast, but also the foodie, the traveller and anybody who enjoys a good ole yarn.
Oh, and did I mention it is very, very funny?
How I Won the Yellow Jumper: Dispatches from the Tour de France by Ned Boulting is published on June 2nd by Yellow Jersey Press (an imprint of Random House).