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Tuesday, October 17th Conference Tour de France 2018

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Wednesday, July 26th

A palette of colours …

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Tuesday, July 25th

Chris Froome, the go-between

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Monday, July 24th

Last sprint for Groenewegen, Froome wins his fourth Tour

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One last breakaway for ‘Walko'…

news07.02.2017Pre-race

CYCLISME - TOUR DE FRANCE 1956 - 1956 - walkowiak (roger) - Madame Walkowiak embrasse son mari, vainqueur du Tour. *** Local Caption *** - ©

Roger Walkowiak would have been 90 years old in a few weeks' time, but the winner of the Tour de France in 1956 passed away last night. He leaves us with the memory of a strong-willed rider.

He was the symbol of a certain form of romanticism according to which, in cycling, ready-made scenarios could be deconstructed by champions who did not necessarily look the part. Renowned for his solidity and genuine talent in the mountains, nevertheless Roger Walkowiak was not among the favourites for the 1956 Tour de France. Indeed, the rider from Montluçon, despite his remarkable exploits on the Paris-Côte d'Azur or Dauphiné Libéré races, had been left out by the French team that year. However, his obstinate ability of getting into successful breakaways and his tactical sense, which was most certainly underestimated by his rivals such as Charly Gaul, Federico Bahamontes or Raphaël Geminiani, enabled him to tackle that year's passage through the Alps in good conditions. On the stage in Grenoble, four days before the end of the race, Walkowiak regained the Yellow Jersey that he had already worn at the start of the race. This time, he was determined to not let it slip from his grasp… especially not on the last stage, which set off from his home town of Montluçon in the Allier department. As a legacy, the last winner to ride for a regional team (Nord Est-Centre, north-east-centre in English) bequeathed an expression to the cycling lexicon. However, “Walko's Tour” was redeemed by the most astute of cycling analysts, Antoine Blondin, who explained for example that, “his victory was actually self-evident. ‘Walko' was the bravest, the most consistent and best performing rider”. The former director of the Tour, Jacques Goddet, went one better with particularly glowing praise: “Roger Walkowiak [...], is my favourite Tour de France winner”. The Tour de France wishes to pay this very same tribute to Roger Walkowiak, who, following the death of Ferdi Kübler several weeks ago, became the oldest winner of the event. The organisational teams would like to express their most heartfelt thoughts to all his family and friends.

The news in pictures

photo07/02/2017 

CYCLISME - TOUR DE FRANCE 1956 - 1956 - walkowiak (roger) - Madame Walkowiak embrasse son mari, vainqueur du Tour. *** Local Caption *** - ©

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