Thursday, September 1, 2011

1905 Tour de France

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Route of the 1905 Tour de France

The 1905 Tour de France was the third Tour de France, held from July 9th to July 30th 1905, organized by the newspaper L'Auto. Due in part to some of the rule changes, the 1905 Tour de France had less cheating and sabotage than in previous years, though they were not completely eliminated. 

After the 1904 Tour de France, some cyclists were disqualified, most notably the top four cyclist of the original overall classification. (Maurice Garin, Lucien Pothier, Cesar Garin and Hippolyte Aucouturier) They were disqualified by the Union Velocipedique Francaise, based on accusations of cheating when there were no race officials around. In the 1904 Tour, it was difficult to observe the cyclists continuously, as significant portions of the race were run overnight. The long stages made it difficult to have officials everywhere. 

Because of these disqualifications had almost put an end to the Tour de France, the 1905 event had been changed in important ways, to make the race easier to supervise.

  • The stages were shortened so that no night riding occurred.
  • The number of stages increased to 11 stages, almost double from the previous year.
  • The winner was selected on points, not time.
The longest stage of 1905 was the fourth stage, 348 kilometers. It was still terribly long by modern standards but nothing like the stages of the earlier Tours that could approach 500 kilometers.

The other important introduction was the mountains. Up until then the Tour had been raced almost entirely on flat roads. So far the 1,145 meter high Col de la Republic was the only lump the Tour had the racers climb. In 1905 the Tour took a trip through the Vosges Mountains in Eastern France with the Ballon Bayard climbs. 

Final 1905 Tour de France Classification:
1. Louis Tousselier: 35 points
2. Hippolyte Aucouturier: 61 points
3. Jean-Baptiste Dortignacq: 64 points

Louis Toussellier

Hippolyte Aucouturier
Jean-Baptiste Dortignacq

The August 6, 1905 edition of La Stampa Sportiva. In the upper square is Lucien Petit-Breton. The big picture taken from above is of 1905 Tour winner Louis Trousellier signing in at the start of the final stage in Caen. The lower left picture is of Henri Cornet, who was awarded the 1904 victory after the cheating scandals.

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