The history of the Tour de France

Year 1928

THE STORY

  • Nicolas Frantz was unbeatable in 1928, and he wore the Tour’s yellow jersey from start to finish. French hope André Leducq did win three stages, but he was no match for Frantz.--not to mention the fact that he was Frantz’s teammate, not a competitor.

  • At 36, Victor Fontan wins the great Hendaye - Luchon stage in the Pyrénées. Although Nicolas Frantz was unchallenged for much of the race in 1928, he nearly saw the yellow jersey evaporate before his eyes on the stage from Metz to Charleville when he broke his bike. Fortunately, a bike shop was nearby, and after grabbing a women's bike, he managed to finish the final 100 kilometers of the stage and hold onto the lead.

  • Having broken his bicycle at the Metz - Charleville stage, Frantz, rides the last kilometers on a women's bike, at an average speed of 27 km/h. He loses 28 minutes but holds his place in the overall standings. The Tour becomes a world event: An Australian, Hubert Opperman, participates. Last rider: Persin (41st) at 26 h 56 min. 19 sec.

  • Frantz's double stage victory, his individual superiority and his team's collective strength. Trying to give weaker teams a chance under the individual-team start format, race director Henri Desgrange experimented with the idea of allowing teams to substitute fresh riders for those who were exhausted or injured. The concept, however, was quickly abandoned as it made strong teams stronger and weak teams weaker. Australians made their Tour de France debut when they entered a team lead by Hubert Opperman.

  • The Soviets invade Afghanistan; Louis Buñuel and Salvador Dali produce "The Andalusian Dog;" Walt Disney creates Mickey Mouse; Maurice Ravel composes "Bolero;" Joseph Stalin banishes Leon Trotsky; Herbert Hoover becomes the 31st president of the United States.

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