467 kilometers in 18 hours. During that time, Maurice Grain won the first stage cycling in France routes, which ran from Paris to Lyon. As you read this, maybe you are wondering how much has changed since then?
Considering the circumstances, maybe Maurice Grain could be released (presumably) cheated next year. Despite the fact that he won the second Tour in total, next year he was disqualified by the French Bicycle Union because – although he never admitted – he allegedly cut off the first stage of the Tour – by train!
The competition with development has become more and more human-minded, or, on the contrary, the results of today’s cyclists are no longer as special as those of the first (and unfortunately forgotten) winners of the initial period?
At the start of the bike tours, the race itself was more demanding and exhausting than the current one. There are many differences first when we look at old photos of the early years. The components and materials of today’s bicycles cannot be compared to the old ones. The hardened physique of modern professional cyclists cannot be mentioned on one sheet with the enthusiastic amateurs whose training consisted of cycling to work or spending their free time.
The heroes of the beginnings did not follow any special diets and had no rest periods at the end of the stages, although they were much longer than today. It was forbidden to provide help in case of technical problems, so it was impossible to talk about a service team. There was nothing left for them, like hard work, a hectoliter of sweat and I could do it. Great effort without a guarantee of success – just real sport.
It’s not about getting to Paris today, but about strategies and the overall picture, because you have to win points for the UCI World Tour. For some cyclists, it is simply more important to win certain stages than to wear a yellow jersey because they specialize in mountain skiing or sprinting.
It would be difficult to say who are the famous heroes in history of this legendary event – even if some gladiators triumphed several times over the previous ninety-nine tour. Maurice Grain was a chimney sweeper, not a racer. Louis Trousselier, the third Tour winner, was a desert soldier who did not return to the barracks at the end of the day’s outbound journey; rather, he took a month’s leave to go through the Court. Some people look to the pioneers of the past as the true hero of the Tour’s history, because they were competing cleanly and completely alone.
Basically, every cyclist is a real hero who climbs the steep, seemingly endless hairs of the French mountains in the sun or torrential rain to finally reach the top peaks, then fall back and see the Eiffel Tower after three weeks of suffering and distress.