Biographies & Memoirs

Sex, Lies and Handlebar Tape

Sex, Lies and Handlebar Tape

For the first time since his death in 1987, this astounding biography reveals the extraordinary truth behind the legend, the man, and the cyclist. His list of "firsts" alone makes him worthy of a place in the cycling pantheon: the first man to win the Tour de France five times; the first man to win all three grand tours—the Tour de France, Giro d'Italia, and Vuelta a España; and the first man to win both the Tour and Vuelta in the same year. However, the extraordinary life of Anquetil does not stop at his achievements on a bike. He candidly admitted to using drugs, offended legions of fans by confessing that his only motivation for riding was financial, and infamously indulged his enthusiasm for the high life. He also seduced and married his doctor's wife, had a child with her daughter, and then sustained a ménage à trois with both wife and stepdaughter under the same roof for 12 years. When this "family" eventually imploded, he attempted to inspire jealousy in his former lovers by having a child with his stepson's ex-wife. Containing exclusive contributions from Anquetil's family, friends, teammates, and rivals, Sex, Lies and Handlebar Tape untangles myth from reality and confirms that fact is definitely stranger than fiction.


Chapter 1: The ‘Viking’ of Quincampoix

Chapter 2: Look, Dad, No Stabilisers

Chapter 3: The Apprentice – Part I

Chapter 4: The Apprentice – Part II

Chapter 5: A Star is Born

Chapter 6: Wounded Pride

Chapter 7: Mission: Impossible

Chapter 8: Chercher la Femme...

Chapter 9: Femme Fatale?

Chapter 10: Italian Job

Chapter 11: The Beginning of an Era

Chapter 12: Just Because I’m Paranoid Doesn’t Mean They’re Not out to Get Me

Chapter 13: An Insatiable Appetite

Chapter 14: Fourteen Seconds

Chapter 15: The Curious Incident of the Race in the Night-time

Chapter 16: Anyone but Poulidor

Chapter 17: Don’t Take the P***

Chapter 18: Jacques of All Trades

Chapter 19: The Cyclist, the Wife, Her Daughter and His Lover

Chapter 20: The Cyclist, the Stepson, His Wife and Her Lover

Chapter 21: Cycling’s James Bond