Sunday, October 23, 2011

1908 Tour de France

Route of the 1908 Tour de France

The 1908 Tour de France was the sixth Tour de France. Taking place between July 13 and August 9, 1908. The total race distance was 4,497 kilometers (2,794 miles). 

The route for the 1908 Tour de France was nearly the same as the route for the 1907 Tour de France. The rules were also the same; the point system was still used. Desgange, the Tour's organizer, disliked teams, sponsors, combines and anything that would make his Tour less than the supreme test of the individual. For 1908 he required the racers to ride on frames the Tour organization provided. They could be built with some components of the racer's choice. The bikes were then stamped and sealed. 
Large crowds watch as Jean-Baptiste Dortignacq rolls through the town of Bellegarde.

There were 162 cyclist who had signed up and received starting numbers for the 1908 Tour de France. 48 cyclists did not start, so the Tour began with 114 participants. 

The favorite to win was Lucien Petit-Breton, the winner of the previous edition. He was supported by his Peugeot-team which included the best cyclists. Peugeot had won 20 stages in the previous 5 Tour de France races. In addition Petit-Breton was a skilled bicycle mechanic, which was important because the rules said that cyclists had to repair their bicycle without help. The strongest opposition was expected from the Alcyon team, led by Georges Passerieu and Gustave Garrigou.

Of the 114 starting cyclists, 36 finished. The Peugeot team had dominated the race; not only did their cyclists win all 14 stages, but they also had the top four places in the general classification. Petit-Breton won 5 stages and finished out of the top 4 only once. Francois Faber won 4 stages. 

Top 5 places in the 1908 General Classification:
1. Lucien Petit-Breton: 36 points
2. Francois Faber: 68 points
3. Georges Passerieu: 75 points
4. Gustave Garrigou: 91 points
5. Luigi Ganna: 120 points
Lucien Petit-Breton
Click here to learn more about Lucien Petit-Breton
Francois Faber
Click here to learn more about Francois Faber
Georges Passerieu
Click here to learn more about Georges Passerieu.
Gustave Garrigou repairs his own bike.
Luigi Ganna

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