Butcher, Blacksmith, Acrobat, Sweep


Full of adventure, mishaps and audacious attempts at cheating, the first Tour de France in 1903 was a colourful affair. Its riders included characters like Maurice ‘The White Bulldog’ Garin, an Italian-born Frenchman whose parents were said to have swapped him for a round of cheese in order to smuggle him into France as a 14 year old, Hippolyte Aucouturier, who with his jersey of horizontal stripes and handlebar moustache looked like the villain from a Buster Keaton movie and amateurs like Jean Dargassies, a blacksmith who had no idea what he was letting himself in for. Dreamed up to revive a struggling newspaper, cyclists of the time weren’t enthusiastic about this ‘heroic’ race through roads more suited to hooves than wheels, with bikes weighing up to twenty kilos, on a single fixed gear, for three full weeks.

SKU: 9780224100663 Category:


Author Cossins Peter Published by Yellow Jersey Press ISBN 9780224100663 EAN 9780224100663 Bic Code Cover Paperback


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