1907 Tour de France

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1907 Tour de France
Map of France with the route of the 1907 Tour de France on it, showing that the race started in Paris, went clockwise through France and ended in Paris after fourteen stages.
Route of the 1907 Tour de France
Followed clockwise, starting in Paris
Race details
Dates 8 July–4 August 1907 [1]
Stages 14
Distance 4,488 km (2,789 mi)
Winning time 47 points (28.47 km/h or 17.69 mph)
Winner  Lucien Petit-Breton (France)
Second  Gustave Garrigou (France)
Third  Émile Georget (France)

The 1907 Tour de France was the 5th running of the annual Tour de France bicycle race. From 8 July to 4 August, the 93 cyclists cycled 4488 km (2,788 mi) around France. The winner, Lucien Petit-Breton, completed the race at an average speed of 28.47 km/h (17.69 mi/h).[2] For the first time, climbs in the Western Alps were included in the Tour de France. The race was dominated at the start by Émile Georget, who won five of the first eight stages. In the ninth stage, he borrowed a bicycle from a team mate after his own broke. This was against the rules; initially he received only a small penalty and his main competitors left the race out of protest. Georget's penalty was then increased and Lucien Petit-Breton became the new leader. Petit-Breton won two of the remaining stages and the overall victory of the Tour.

Changes from the 1906 Tour de France[edit]

The 1907 Tour de France incorporated 14 stages, which was one more than in 1906. For the first time, roads in Switzerland were included.[2][3] The mountain stages in 1906 had been so successful, according to the organiser Henri Desgrange, that the western Alps were included in the race for the first time.[4] The 1907 race was also the first time that a car with bicycle repairmen drove behind the riders, to give assistance in solving mechanical problems on bicycles.[3]

As in 1906, the race was decided by a points system. At the end of every stage, the winner was given one point, the next cyclist two points, and so on. After the eighth stage, when there were only 49 cyclists left in the race, the points given in the first eight stages were redistributed among the remaining cyclists, according to their positions in those stages.[3]


René Pottier, the winner of the 1906 Tour de France, did not defend his title because he had committed suicide in early 1907.[3] Although the riders officially rode the Tour as individuals, some shared the same sponsor and cooperated as if they rode in teams. At the start of the race, it was clear that the riders sponsored by Alcyon and the riders sponsored by Peugeot would compete for the overall victory. Alcyon started with three main contenders: Louis Trousselier, Marcel Cadolle and Léon Georget; Peugeot counted on Emile Georget.[5]

As in the previous years, there were two classes of cyclists, the coureurs de vitesse and the coureurs sur machines poinçonnées. Of the 93 cyclists starting the race, 82 were in the poinçonnée category, which meant that they had to finish the race on the same bicycle as they left, and if it was broken they had to fix it without assistance.[6] The coureurs de vitesse could get help from the car with bicycle repairmen when they had to fix a bicycle, and when a bicycle was beyond repair, they could change it to a new one.[7]

Not all cyclists were competing for the victory; some only joined as tourists. The most notable of them was Henri Pépin. Pépin had hired two riders, Jean Dargassies[Notes 1] and Henri Gauban, to ride with him. They treated the race as a pleasure ride, stopping for lunch when they chose and spending the night in the best hotels they could find.[8] Dargassies and Gaubin became the first cyclists in the history of the Tour de France to ride not for their own placings but for their team leader's interest. During the race, they found another Tour de France competitor, Jean-Marie Teychenne, lying in a ditch. They helped him get up and fed him; from then on Teychenne also helped Pépin.[4][9]

Race details[edit]

Early in the race, Trousselier, François Faber and Emile Georget were the main contenders.[2] Trousselier, winner of the 1905 Tour de France and eager to win again, won the first stage.[5] In the second stage, the Tour passed the French-German border to finish in Metz, which was then part of Germany. The German authorities allowed the cyclists to finish there, but did not allow the French flag to be flown or the cars of race officials to enter the city.[10] At the end of the stage, Emile Georget seemingly beat Trousselier with a very small margin. After inquiry, Desgrange, the Tour's organiser, decided to put both cyclists in first place,[11] to keep both teams satisfied.[5]

In the third stage, the Tour returned to France; at the border, the riders were stopped by two French customs officers and the delay took so long that the stage had to be restarted.[4] During the stage in the Alps, Émile Georget was better than his competitors; he won the stage and became leader of the general classification.[5] Georget won five of the first eight stages, and had a commanding lead.[4] In the seventh stage, Marcel Cadolle, at that time in second place,[12] fell and his steer[clarification needed] penetrated his knee, after which he had to give up.[5]

A man on a bicycle, riding on an outdoor velodrome.
Lucien Petit-Breton, the winner of the 1907 Tour de France.

During the ninth stage, when Georget was leading the race, he broke the frame of his bicycle[5] at a checkpoint. According to the rules, Georget should have fixed his bicycle alone; he knew this would take him more than five hours, so he switched bicycles with his team mate Pierre-Gonzague Privat.[4] This was against the rules, so Georget was given a fine of 500 francs.[2][13] After this stage, won by Petit-Breton, the general classification was as follows:

General classification after stage 9[14]
Rank Rider Points
1 Émile Georget 17
2 Lucien Petit-Breton 37
3 Louis Trousselier 40
4 Gustave Garrigou 53

Unsatisfied with the fine given to Georget, Trousselier and his Alcyon team left the Tour in protest.[5][15]

After the tenth stage, the organisers gave Georget an additional penalty for the bicycle change in the ninth stage. They changed the classification of the ninth stage, moving Georget from 4th on the stage to last (48th place).[13] This effectively cost him 44 points in the general classification and moved him from first to third place.[16] The new classification, after the tenth stage, was

General classification after stage 10[13]
Rank Rider Points
1 Lucien Petit-Breton 39
2 Gustave Garrigou 54
3 Emile Georget 64

Lucien Petit-Breton became the new leader of the race. Although he had already finished in fifth place and fourth place in previous years,[17] he was still relatively unknown, and had started in the coureurs sur machines poinçonnées category.[2] Petit-Breton finished in the top three in the next stages, so no other cyclist was able to challenge him for the overall victory. At the end of the race, he had increased his lead to a margin of 19 points ahead of Garrigou and 27 points ahead of Georget.[3]


Stage results[edit]

In the first and final stages, the cyclists were allowed to have pacers.[18]

Stage results[3]
Stage Date[11] Route Terrain[Notes 2] Length Winner Race leader
1 8 July Paris–Roubaix Plain stage 272 km (169 mi)  Louis Trousselier (FRA)  Louis Trousselier (FRA)
2 10 July Roubaix–Metz Plain stage 398 km (247 mi)  Emile Georget (FRA)[Notes 3]
 Louis Trousselier (FRA)[Notes 3]
 Louis Trousselier (FRA)
3 12 July Metz–Belfort Stage with mountain 259 km (161 mi)  Emile Georget (FRA)  Emile Georget (FRA)
4 14 July Belfort–Lyon Stage with mountain 309 km (192 mi)  Marcel Cadolle (FRA)  Emile Georget (FRA)
5 16 July Lyon–Grenoble Stage with mountain 311 km (193 mi)  Emile Georget (FRA)  Emile Georget (FRA)
6 18 July Grenoble–Nice Stage with mountain 345 km (214 mi)  Georges Passerieu (FRA)  Emile Georget (FRA)
7 20 July Nice–Nîmes Plain stage 345 km (214 mi)  Emile Georget (FRA)  Emile Georget (FRA)
8 22 July Nîmes–Toulouse Plain stage 303 km (188 mi)  Emile Georget (FRA)  Emile Georget (FRA)
9 24 July Toulouse–Bayonne Plain stage 299 km (186 mi)  Lucien Petit-Breton (FRA)  Emile Georget (FRA)
10 26 July Bayonne–Bordeaux Plain stage 269 km (167 mi)  Gustave Garrigou (FRA)  Lucien Petit-Breton (FRA)
11 28 July Bordeaux–Nantes Plain stage 391 km (243 mi)  Lucien Petit-Breton (FRA)  Lucien Petit-Breton (FRA)
12 30 July Nantes–Brest Plain stage 321 km (199 mi)  Gustave Garrigou (FRA)  Lucien Petit-Breton (FRA)
13 1 August Brest–Caen Plain stage 415 km (258 mi)  Emile Georget (FRA)  Lucien Petit-Breton (FRA)
14 4 August Caen–Paris Plain stage 251 km (156 mi)  Georges Passerieu (FRA)  Lucien Petit-Breton (FRA)

General classification[edit]

Although 110 riders were on the starting list, 17 did not show up, so the race started with 93 cyclists. At the end of the Tour de France, 33 cyclists remained.[3] The cyclists officially were not grouped in teams; some cyclists had the same sponsor, even though they were not allowed to work together.

Final general classification (1–10)[3]
Rank Rider Sponsor Points Category[19]
1  Lucien Petit-Breton (FRA) Peugeot-Wolber 47 Poinçonnées
2  Gustave Garrigou (FRA) Peugeot-Wolber 66 Vitesse
3  Emile Georget (FRA) Peugeot-Wolber 74 Vitesse
4  Georges Passerieu (FRA) Peugeot-Wolber 85 Vitesse
5  François Beaugendre (FRA) Peugeot-Wolber 123 Poinçonnées
6  Eberardo Pavesi (ITA) Otav 150 Poinçonnées
7  François Faber (LUX) Labor-Dunlop 156 Poinçonnées
8  Augustin Ringeval (FRA) Labor-Dunlop 184 Vitesse
9  Aloïs Catteau (BEL) 196 Poinçonnées
10  Ferdinand Payan (FRA) 227 Poinçonnées

The total prize money was 25000 French francs, of which 4000 francs were given to Petit-Breton for winning the Tour.[11] In total, he received more than 7000 francs.[19]

Other classifications[edit]

Lucien Petit-Breton was also the winner of the "machines poinçonnées" category.[20]

The organising newspaper l'Auto named Emile Georget the meilleur grimpeur. This unofficial title is the precursor to the modern-day mountains classification.[21]


Petit-Breton also started the 1908 Tour de France. He won five stages and the general classification, and became the first cyclist to win the Tour de France two times.[22]


  1. ^ Although his real name was Dargaties, the Tour spelled his name incorrectly and the error stuck.
  2. ^ In 1907, there was no distinction in the rules between plain stages and mountain stages; the icons shown here indicate which stages included mountains.
  3. ^ a b At first, Georget was declared winner, but after investigation by tour organiser Henri Desgrange, Trousselier was also declared winner.


  1. ^ Augendre, Jacques (2009). "Guide Historique, Part 6" (PDF) (in French). Amaury Sport Organisation. Archived from the original on 3 October 2009. Retrieved 2 October 2009. 
  2. ^ a b c d e "1907 Tour de France". Amaury Sport Organisation. Archived from the original on 3 May 2009. Retrieved 2 April 2009. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h "5ème Tour de France 1907" (in French). Memoire du cyclisme. Archived from the original on 2 May 2009. Retrieved 2 April 2009. 
  4. ^ a b c d e McGann, Bill; McGann, Carol (2006). The Story of the Tour de France. Dog Ear Publishing. pp. 19–22. ISBN 1-59858-180-5. Retrieved 16 August 2010. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f g Amels, Wim (1984). De geschiedenis van de Tour de France 1903–1984 (in Dutch). Sport-Express. ISBN 90-70763-05-2. 
  6. ^ Wheatcroft, Geoffrey (2007). Le Tour: A History of the Tour De France. Simon & Schuster. ISBN 1-84739-086-2. Retrieved 16 August 2010. 
  7. ^ Françoise Laget, Gilles Montgermont, Philippe Cazaban, Serge Laget (2013). Tour de France: The Official 100th Race Anniversary Edition. Hachette UK. ISBN 978-1-78206-415-2. Retrieved 13 November 2015. 
  8. ^ Chany, Pierre; Cazeneuve, Thierry (1985). La Fabuleuse Histoire du Tour de France (in French). France: ODIL. ISBN 2-8307-0689-7. 
  9. ^ Thompson, Christopher S. (2003). The Tour de France. Routledge. p. 73. ISBN 0-520-25630-1. Retrieved 16 August 2010. 
  10. ^ Thompson, Christopher S. (2008). The Tour de France. University of California Press. p. 68. ISBN 0-520-25630-1. Retrieved 16 August 2010. 
  11. ^ a b c Augendre, Jacques (2013). "Guide Historique" (PDF) (in French). Amaury Sport Organisation. p. 9. Retrieved 13 November 2015. 
  12. ^ "5ème Tour de France 1907 - 6ème étape" (in French). Memoire du Cyclisme. Archived from the original on 3 May 2009. Retrieved 2 April 2009. 
  13. ^ a b c "Le Tour de France". Le Petit Parisien (in French) (Gallica Bibliothèque Numérique). 28 July 1907. p. 5. Retrieved 11 August 2010. 
  14. ^ "Le Tour de France". Le Petit Parisien (in French) (Gallica Bibliothèque Numérique). 26 July 1907. p. 4. Retrieved 11 August 2010. 
  15. ^ "Le Tour de France". Le Petit Parisien (in French) (Gallica Bibliothèque Numérique). 27 July 1907. p. 4. Retrieved 11 August 2010. 
  16. ^ "5ème Tour de France 1907 - 9ème étappe" (in French). Memoire du Cyclisme. Archived from the original on 3 May 2009. Retrieved 2 April 2009. 
  17. ^ "Past results for Lucien MAZAN dit PETIT-BRETON (FRA)". Amaury Sport Organisation. Retrieved 2 April 2009. 
  18. ^ "Le Tour de France". Le Petit Parisien (in French) (Gallica Bibliothéque Numèrique). 8 July 1907. pp. 3–4. Retrieved 11 August 2010. 
  19. ^ a b "Le Tour de France" (in Spanish). El Mundo Deportivo. 8 August 1907. Retrieved 13 November 2015. 
  20. ^ "l'Historique du Tour - Année 1907" (in French). Amaury Sport Organisation. Retrieved 2 January 2010. 
  21. ^ Lonkhuyzen, Michiel van. "Tour-Giro-Vuelta". www.tour-giro-vuelta.net. Retrieved 2 January 2010. 
  22. ^ James, Tom (27 August 2007). "1908: Petit-Breton becomes the first double-winner". Veloarchive. Retrieved 16 August 2010. 

External links[edit]

Media related to 1907 Tour de France at Wikimedia Commons