After the golden summer of 2012 many wondered if such a year of sporting triumph could ever be matched. Incredibly, 2013 looks set to do just that. From Justin Rose winning the US Open, to the British & Irish Lions first triumph in 16 years with their Test series win over Australia, to Andy Murray ending 77 years of hurt with his victory at Wimbledon; Chris Froome following team mate Wiggins into the maillot jaune and the annals of history at the Tour de France, and England’s demolition of Australia in the Ashes, an annus mirabilis has come round again.
In celebration of such soaring triumph, here are five sports books that you simply must not miss:
TOUR DE FRANCE
In July 2013, Chris Froome became only the second British cyclist ever to win the Tour de France – in the Grand Tour’s 100th staging. Froome superseded Wiggins as the Team Sky leader and went on to win the Tour of Oman, the Critérium International, the Tour de Romandie, and the Critérium du Dauphiné before dominating the 2013 Tour de France, sweeping aside every rival on a relentless march to Paris. This is the only biography available of this extraordinary man.
BRITISH & IRISH LIONS TOUR
Sam Warburton became the first man to lead the Lions to a successful series win in 16 years when his team sealed a 2–1 victory over Australia in July 2013.
Behind the Lions is one of the most comprehensive, and certainly the most accessible, history of this legendary team. It is both illuminating and heart-warming to relive the days of six-month-long tours, to hear the recollections of comradeship and life-long friendships, and to experience the battles on the field as told by the men who were there.
With over a hundred photographs dotted throughout the text, this is a history like no other of the world’s most famous touring team and a must-have for rugby enthusiasts everywhere.
Wimbledon: The Official History by John Barrett
This lavishly illustrated history takes the reader through the history of Wimbledon, looking at the men’s, women’s and doubles categories, and is filled with interesting facts and asides to go alongside the gorgeous photography and nostalgia-stirring accounts of the great champions – it is only a shame that this reader bought the current edition and not the one that will no doubt be issued soon with an updated chapter on Andy Murray’s triumph!
Cricket’s Greatest Rivalry: A History of the Ashes in 10 Matches by Simon Hughes
In Cricket’s Greatest Rivalry, Simon Hughes highlights ten of the best matches in one of the biggest rivalries in sport and does so with insight, drama and a delightful touch of humour. It is a perfect blend for light summer reading – get tucked in while basking in the sun between Test matches, waiting for all the fun to begin again.
There is, as yet, no biography of Justin Rose, but you can reminisce about his contribution to the Miracle at Medinah and look forward to the Ryder Cup at Gleneagles in 2014 with Jewel in the Glen by Ed Hodge. This is an official history of the Gleneagles Hotel, the venue for the first-ever encounter between Britain and the US in 1924, which was the genesis for the Ryder Cup.
With a forward by Jack Nicklaus, a vast array of celebrities interviewed about their experiences, and a hole-by-hole guide by Ryder Cup legend, Colin Montgomerie, this beautifully illustrated tome is a must-read before the tournament begins next September.