Geoffrey Nicholson was one of the most original, prolific and best-liked sports writers of the past 50 years. A modest, unassuming man, he was part of a small team at The Observer, who transformed the character of sports journalism in the late 1950s by eschewing tabloid cliches and public relations hype and introducing a quality of writing that matched, and was sometimes superior to, that on the arts and foreign pages. He was to become sports editor of the Observer and the Sunday Correspondent, sports features editor of the Sunday Times amd rugby correspondent of the Independent. Geoff's main interest was cycling, and he covered the Tour de France for 20 years. He has the distinction of being the first editor to publish a sports picture by Eamonn McCabe. Geoffrey Nicholson died in August 1999.
To be quite blunt about the current situation even in the year 2016, this is unquestionably the finest book ever written on the subject of cycling, bar none. The combination of the late Geoffrey Nicholson's (he died in 1999) observations, coupled with an impeccable writing style, make the Great Bike Race almost a complete education in and of itself ... Nicholson has captured a moment in time, one that will remain so pretty much forever. But in the manner of a novel by dickens, hardy or austen, the Great Bike Race is a volume that can be solely appreciated for its own values, values that are distinct from the race it describes and entirely separate from the final yellow jersey worn by lucien van impe on the champs elysees in 1976. It has taken forty years for this book to find me. Don't, under any circumstances, let this happen to you. -- Brian Palmer The Washing-Machine Post A reprint of one of the best-written and most thorough analyses of any edition of the world's greatest cycle race. -- Tony Farrelly Road CC an acknowledged classic. -- Claire Armitstead The Guardian