Tom Simpson, Brian Robinson, Barry Hoban, Hercules team and many more were all participants in the Tour de France representing their country but who was the first?? Charles Holland's story was born out of  time-trials and track racing in the 1930's where he matured into a fine rider who dominated all disciplines. Twice an Olympian (1932 & 1936), he turned professional in 1937 and accepted a place in the British Empire Ace team alongside Bill Burl and a Canadian rider in the Tour however his compatriots never finsihed the first stage and Holland was therefore alone. Luckily the Belgians took pity and looked after him until Stage 17 when he was sadly eliminated after 3 punctures. What makes this part of Holland's story so unbelievable is he broke a collarbone riding the Wembley 6-day in May then broke it again tripping on a rabbit hole two weeks later. With the race starting on 3rd June, it wasn't the best preparation for a three week race over
4,000 klms.
His daughter Frances has written a fascinating story of her father's exploits using his diaries to full effect which fully illistrates life between the two great wars in the Midlands and ground-breaking feats in cycling. If he were alive today, Charles Holland would have been a very proud of his daughters efforts.

Price : £12.99 + £2.00 p&p