The history of the Tour de France

Year 1910

THE STORY

  • The introduction of the Pyrénées mountains did a lot to upset the status quo of the Tour. Power-based riders like François Faber were at a severe disadvantage once the roads went vertical. But because the race was still being contested by points, Faber was able to remain in contention. Climbing specialist Octave Lapize, however, was the race’s most consistent performer. He won all the major climbing stages, as well as flatter ones like the stage from Brest to Caen. In the end he held a slim but solid four-point lead over Faber.

  • The premier mountain stage of the 1910 Tour traced a steep path from Luchon to Bayonne. Little-known regional rider François Lafourcade led all the top riders over the Aubisque climb, while Lapize, one of the best climbers in the race, struggled. When Lapize came across the race organizer's car, one word was enough to convey what he thought of the new climbs: "Assassins!" he screamed at Tour director Henri Desgrange. Nevertheless, Lapize regained his strength on the descent, caught and passed Lafourcade, and raced into Bayonne victorious.

  • Garrigou, the only rider to climb the Tourmalet without getting off of his bicycle (second at the top), receives a 100-Francs bonus. Last rider: Collet (41th) 580 pts (Lapize: 63 pts).

  • The race enters the Pyrénées for the first time with riders tackling the Peyresourde, Aspin, Tourmalet and Aubisque climbs. The Tour introduces the broom wagon, a vehicle that follows the pack, “sweeping” up riders who abandon the race.

  • Japan annexes Korea; the Rockefeller Foundation is created; Russian writer Leo Tolstoy dies; Russian composer Igor Stravinsky composes "The Firebird Suite."

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