The history of the Tour de France

Year 1927

THE STORY

  • Benefiting from the work of his strong Alcyon team, Nicolas Frantz exploited the Tour’s new individual-team start structure to build up a solid advantage on the flats. And when he dominated in the Pyrénées, his victory was virtually locked. To be on the safe side, though, he won the stages into Nice and Metz as well, and then returned to Paris as the overall winner.

  • The outcome of the 1927 Tour could have been dramatically different. The legendary Bayonne to Luchon stage was marred by horrific weather, and Italy's Gordini went on the attack, gaining nearly a 45-minute advantage. He was the unofficial leader of the Tour de France on the road, but mechanical problems prevented him from holding his advantage, and he was passed before the end of the stage.

  • Another long breakaway by Switzerland's Martinet (individuals category). He builds an 18-minute lead, having counter attacked in the Galibier, but is joined eight kilometers before the finish in Evian. Last rider: Pfister (39th) at 31 h 3 min. 51 sec.

  • First victory in Luxemburg for Frantz, who finishes almost two hours in front of De Waele. Revival in French cycling (Leducq, Magne). To spice up the long and flat stages, Henri Desgrange introduced the individual-team start format, where each team raced the stage together and was given the same time. A predecessor to the team-time-trial concept, the individual-team start idea only lasted until 1929. Contrary to its intent, the structure sucked the suspense from the racing, unfairly favoring riders on the top teams.

  • The first talking film, "The Jazz Singer," opens; Charles Lindbergh makes his solo crossing of the Atlantic; Alfredo Binda wins the first world cycling championships; Ottavio Bottecchia dies.

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