When Henri Desgrange decided to stage a bicycle race as a publicity stunt to promote his cycling newspaper, L'Auto, in 1903, he could have had little idea that the event would, a century later, have evolved into one of the world's most iconic and perhaps greatest sporting events. This fascinating book plots the extraordinary evolution of this great race, from its early beginnings and pre-war rivalries, to its post-war re-establishment. It includes the great conflicts between riders in the late 1940s and 1950s, and the emergence of cycling superstars from the 1960s and beyond who would go on to dominate eras of the race. The Official Treasures of Le Tour De France comprises an authoritative narrative account of the event s history, up to and including the 2006 race, complemented by features on the superstars and the memorable moments of each era, maps of the key stages and stats boxes. Also included are more than 30 facsimile items of rare sporting memorabilia, such as souvenir brochures, period newspapers, posters, stickers, postcards and correspondence. Many of these items are previously unpublished.