Since the Tour de France route changes every year, the announcement of where the ride will take the peloton is a highly anticipated event. For riders and fans alike, a tour doesn’t quite have the “je ne sais quoi” without a visit to the Alpe d’Huez: a brutal climb in the Alps that stretches over eight miles (13 kilometers) with over 1000 meters of elevation gained. This climb and some of the world’s other most famous and grueling ascents are paid graphic homage in “Cycling Climbs: Twenty Art Prints” from London-based publisher Laurence King.
From Arizona to Colombia to Italy, cycling writer and industry veteran Claire Beaumont breaks down the quad-burning roads in word form, deftly balancing technical information with digestible anecdotes. Nigel Peake, an illustrator and trained architect currently living in Switzerland, lends his uniquely folksy yet modern style to visual interpretations of the routes. Where some climbs (the Alp d’Huez, for instance) are literal, landscape representations, others are much more more abstract; highlighting the quantitative side of competitive riding. An excellent addition to any dedicated roadie’s workshop, these 11”x14” prints (which are easily removed from the book for framing) are equally enjoyed as art or in book-form while enjoying a post-ride espresso.
Currently available for pre-order via Amazon ($18), “Cycling Climbs” hits bookstores 3 March 2015. Check out the gallery for a look at a few of our favorites.
Images by Cool Hunting