Eddy Merckx. Fausto Coppi. Jacques Anquetil. Bernard Hinault. Beryl Burton. Marianne Vos. Since the first road race in May 1869, revealed here for the very first time, cycle road racing has been dominated by iconic cyclists who redefined endurance and fortitude. The battles facing these cyclists are not fought over just one race, but an annual series beginning with the Spring Classics and culminating in the three great tours – the Giro d'Italia, Vuelta a España and the Tour de France – before the cyclists retire to lick their wounds and start on another winter of training.How were the great races founded and developed? How have the great riders stamped their authority on them through the ages? Truly international in scope, looking at road racing in North and Latin America, Australia, Africa and Asia, as well as continental Europe, The Call of the Road is essential reading for anyone who is interested in the history, tactics or personalities of cycle road racing.