Et c’est parti! The Tour de France in history

The Tour de France is in full swing, and #archivesportaleurope will accompany you on the stages of the Tour throughout history!

We start with this picture from the Archives départementales de la Somme: it is the 1913 tour, the 11th edition, and these are the frontrunners (les pelons de tête) in Boves, during the final Dunkerque-Paris race. The stage was won by Belgian cyclist Marcel Buysse, but the Tour was won by fellow national Philippe Thys, who secured victory very early one – in general, the whole competition was dominated by Belgium!

These are images from the 2000 Tour de France, and this is the third to last stage, which passed through Germany, in Freiburg im Breisgau. It is very common for the Tour de France to trepass the borders and end in Belgium, Italy, Germany, or Spain – cyclists know no barriers!

These are some of the last photographs of the Tour taken on film, before being replaced by digital cameras: you can find them at the Landesarchiv Baden-Württemberg, Abt. 3. Staatsarchiv Freiburg and on Archives Portal Europe:

Scenes of daily life for two local stars: Louis Bergaud, “la puce du Cantal” (The flea of Cantal), and Maurice Lampre, photographed in 1956 by the local newspaper “La Montagne” (The Mountain) in the occasion of the Tour de France. Lampre was a professional cyclist from 1955 to 1959, riding in three editions of the Tour de France, one Giro d’Italia, and one Vuelta. His best result at the 1956 Tour was 5th during the 16th stage, and 67th in the General Classification. Bergaud won the 2nd stage, and arrived 54th in the General Classification. He was active from 1950 until 1963. The whole archive of La Montagne is available at the Archives départementales du Cantal and on Archives Portal Europe at this link

Louis Bergaud (left) and Maurice Lampre (right)

Each stage of the tour is a ceremony, and it calls for spectators from all over the area! In 1959 at Aurillac, a police dog show was entertaining the audience in the hamlet of Segala (municipality of Arpajon-sur-Cère) before the departure of the 14th stage Aurillac – Clermont-Ferrand:

The Start of the 1966 Tour de France: Eugène Christophe wears the reissue of the 1919 yellow jersey - from the Archives départementales des Hautes-Pyrénées, at this link:

The first Tour de France was won by the Italo-French Maurice-François Garin, born on the very border between France and Italy, and who worked as a chimney sweeper before becoming a professional cyclist – the Archives nationales hold a documentary on the first Tour: (pic from the Naational Archief in The Netherlands)

Wielrennen, Tour de France 1903. Finish van de 1e Tour de France, links [Leon Georget] en rechts de eerste winnaar Maurice Garin. Parijs, juli 1903.

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