Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The Broom Wagon

Broom Wagon

The Broom Wagon (also referred to as Sag Wagon) is the affectionate name for the vehicle that follows a bicycle road race picking up stragglers (or sweeping them up) who are unable to make it to the finish of the race within the time permitted.

In the Tour de France the vehicle used was traditionally a Citroen H Van. The expression broom wagon is a translation of the French, voiture balai, and it was seen first at the 1910 Tour de France. The broom wagon of the Tour de France did indeed once carry a broom attached above the driver's cab - except in the years that it was sponsored by a vacuum-cleaner company.

The broom wagon is also known as the sag wagon. SAG stands for Supplies And Gear. Cycle touring groups which have a vehicle to carry their luggage and food are said to be "sagged" in that they have a vehicle that carries supplies and gear for the participants in the ride.

1957 Renault Broom Wagon
1961 Tour de Fance Broom Wagon
The Citroen H van (le Tube) is part of cycling history. Used in races as the broom wagon (voiture balai), the last H vans rolled of the production line in 1981. These iconic machines are now highly sought-after. The H van also featured in the film “Belleville Rendez-vous” (The Triplets of Belleville).
The broom wagon in the movie The Triplets of Belleville

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