As the Tour de France 2010 has come to an end I thought as a bit of a detox to the excitement of this year I'd take a look back at the last 100 years of history as we celebrate the centenary of the Pyrenees.
Henri Desgrange in 1912. The founder of the Tour and when it came to tough no one came much worse than him. He's ideal tour would be when only one rider came to the finish line. A bit mad? Probably. But we owe so much to this man for creating the epic stage race.
Cycling posters of early years had Tour winners and hard men of the day. This was a time before big contracts and gears. These wear hard men that would clean chimney's or butchers, riding their steads to home and back. No support was allowed and fixing everything on your bike was the order of the day, this was no simply changing the tubular ( inner tubes weren't used) but even fixing your own fork.
Philippe Tys was the 1913 winner and like so many other riders had his own brand. He would lay the ground work for great Belgian champs and was the first rider to win the Tour three times. I would love to find out more about this first of Tour de France legends and will do a bit of digging.