Wednesday, August 25, 2010

On the Eve of War

The crowds had clearly caught onto the Tour de France by the thirties as can be seen in the photo below. They swarmed up the Tourmalet as the approaching was grew ever closer. I wonder if they had a feeling that there was something that was about to happen on such catastrophic scale. Could it be that history is about to repeat itself as the world heats up and tempers are starting to flare. Lets hope not.
The war effected the 1939 race as Italy, Germany and Spain did not send teams. This meant it was a rather one sided affair between the Belgians and French. A Belgian, Sylvère Maes, would win the last tour that would take place for eight years. The first seven stages saw a Devil Takes the Hindmost setup with the last rider over the line having to pack his bags. The stage going in the mountains was 311km long from Pau to Toulouse with Edward Vissers taking the honors as can be seen in the photo.
Photo's L'Equipe and info from Wiki

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