|Riders stopping at the top of a hill to flip their wheels to a larger gear for the descent during the 1922 Tour de France.|
The early stages of the tour excited French cycling fans. Belgian racers had dominated the tour in recent years. Robert Jacquinot won the 1st stage and Eugene Christophe finished the stage in 2nd place. Both French racers.
French rider Romain Bellenger won the 2nd stage. He won the stage in a sprint finish against Philippe Thys, Robert Jacquinot, Victor Lenaers, Jean Alavoine and Emile Masson. The next bunch of riders were just 47 seconds behind them.
The 3rd stage ended in the Brest velodrome. Jacquinot won the stage in a sprint finish and kept the yellow leaders jersey. The 24 competitors finished together. Desgrange, the race organizer, wanted the riders to struggle to the finish and come in one at a time. He didn't want the riders to help each other or ride in bunches. Desgrange's idea of the Tour de France was a single rider preserving to the end of each stage alone.
|Jean Alavoine winning the 6th stage of the 1922 Tour de France.|
The next rider was 17 minutes behind him.
Jean Alavoine had been close to winning the Tour de France several times in the past. In previous tours he had finished in 2nd place, 3rd place 2 times and in 5th place overall. He had also been the French Road Racing Champion 2 times. He now had the yellow leader's jersey and held a healthy lead.
The standings of the top three riders after the Pyrenees was:
Philippe Thys won the 8th, 9th and 10th stages all in a row. He was not a threat to Alavoine's lead due to his loss of 3 hours with a broken wheel during the 6th stage. Alavoine's lead in the 1922 Tour de France was now 22 minutes and 18 seconds over 2nd place Firmin Lambot.
The 11th stage of the tour contained the Alpine climbs of the Galibier, the Telegraphe and the Arvis. The leaders of the stage encountered a heavy rain storm while on the Galibier. It's important to remember that most of the Tour de France was raced on dirt roads at this time. Honore Barthelemy crashed at least three times and had to abandon the race during this stage. Eugene Christophe broke his fork for an incredible 3rd time while racing a Tour de France, when he was climbing the Galibier. He had to walk the rest of the way up the mountain and down the other side before he could fix his fork. Christophe lost 3 hours and his chance to win a Tour de France for a third time due to a broken fork. Jean Alavoine, the race leader, had mechanical problems during the stage and finished 38 minutes behind stage winner Emile Masson. Heusghem attacked during the 11th stage, and gained over 30 minutes, and was now in 3rd place.
The General Classification at the end of the 11th stage was:
|Firmin Lambot during stage 15 of the 1922 Tour de France.|
Firmin Lambot held on to his lead for the remaining 2 stages and won the 1922 Tour de France. At 37 years of age he was the oldest rider to have won the race and the first rider to win a Tour de France without ever winning a stage. He had stayed out of trouble and not suffered any misfortunes during the tour. He won with an average speed of 24.49 kph (15.22 mph).
120 racers started the 1922 tour and there were 38 finishers.
Below are the top 5 places in the general classification of the 1922 Tour de France:
|Firmin Lambot, winner of the 1922 Tour de France.|
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|Jean Alvoine, 2nd place in the 1922 Tour de France.|
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|Felix Sellier, 3rd place in the 1922 Tour de France.|
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|Hector Heusghem, 4th place in the 1922 Tour de France.|
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|Victor Lenaers, 5th place in the 1922 Tour de France.|
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