The history of the Tour de France

Year 1905

THE STORY

  • After climbing specialist René Pottier destroyed the field on the Ballon d'Alsace climb, tendonitis forced him to drop out. Eternal challenger Hippolite Aucouturier then took over, winning the stage into Toulon. But he eventually faded and it was Louis Trousselier who proved to be the most consistent rider, winning five stages and the race.

  • The first mountain stage in the history of the Tour de France also introduced the race’s first climbing specialist, René Pottier. Although the polka-dot jersey of the race’s “King of the Mountains” did not yet exist, Pottier was clearly the 1905 Tour’s mountain man. Up the tough Ballon d'Alsace climb Pottier was the only rider who did not walk part of the way. In fact, he climbed the Ballon at an admirable average speed of 20 km/hr, respectable even by today's standards.

  • A news flash from Mr. Voltaire, correspondent for L'AUTO in Gap (Grenoble - Toulon stage): "Aucouturier, Maintron and Fourchotte took four hours to finish the route from Grenoble to Gap (103 km). Imagine if, in the past, a stagecoach pulled by 6 horses, four extra in the hills, had been able to take twelve hours. Last rider : Lacroix (24th) 865 pts (Trousselier: 35 pts).

  • New acts of sabotage. Protesters spread nails along the route. All the riders get punctures during the first stage except for Dortignacq.

  • Debussy composes "La Mer;" Sigmund Freud becomes the father of psychoanalysis; Paris receives Buffalo Bill with open arms at the Universal Fair.

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