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License2Ill 07-20-13 09:30 PM

Cheating In The Tour Ain't Nothin' New
It only took one year for these guys to figure out how to cheat to win:

"The 1904 Tour de France was the second Tour de France, held from 2 to 24 July. With a route similar to its previous edition, 1903 Tour de France winner Maurice Garin seemed to have repeated his win by a small margin over Lucien Pothier, while Hippolyte Aucouturier won four of the six stages. But the race became a victim of its own success, plagued by scandals; cyclists were accused of having taken trains during the race.[2] Twelve cyclists, including the first four of the final classification and all stage winners, were disqualified by the Union Vélocipédique Française (UVF). Henri Cornet, originally the fifth-place finisher, was awarded the victory four months after the race.[3]

In the last part of the race, Maurice Garin and Lucien Pothier rode away from the others. They were attacked by four masked men in a car,[2] but still finished as the first two, with Garin beating Pothier by 50 m.[9] The many flat tires and crashes of Aucouturier, seemingly the results of sabotage, gave him a time loss of several hours.[5]

After the stage, three cyclists were punished: Aucouturier and Samson received fines of 500 and 250 francs, Aucouturier for having a cyclist not in the race following him, Samson for riding in the slipstream of a car.[10] Chevallier, who had finished third, was disqualified for resting in a car for 45 minutes.[11] During the stage, Ferdinand Payan had been disqualified.[4] Some sources indicate he was helped by a motor,[12] other that he was helped by riders not in the race.[5] In that first stage, Garin had asked the race official Lefèvre for food, which was illegal."

And that was just the 1st Stage!

"For the Second stage...During this stage, Antoine Fauré lead close to his hometown, and 200 fans tried to stop the rest of the cyclists from following him. Garin hurt his hand during the incident, and Giovanni Gerbi was knocked unconscious, and had to give up with broken fingers.[5] Further on, nails and broken glass had been spread along the road, which caused many flat tires.[14] In the last part, they had been stopped by a large group of cyclists. Maurice Garin had been attacked, and his arm had been injured: he finished the stage steering with only one hand. There was so much confusion at the last controle post, that the exact arrival times of the cyclists were not recorded.[14]"

"In the third stage, the Tour reached Nîmes, near the home town of Payan, whose fans were angry because of his disqualification. They threw rocks at the riders,[2] and barricaded the road.[5] The cyclists had troubles passing through Nîmes, and several were injured. The most important event for the general classification was when César Garin's bicycle was broken by attackers; he had to find a new bicycle, which took him 15 minutes. Further on, nails and broken glass were spread along the road. Many riders punctured, but there were no serious falls. The cyclists passed this part walking."

The Fallout:

"During the race, nine riders were excluded because of, among other actions, illegal use of cars or trains. The Tour organizers were happy with the result, but the Union Vélocipédique Française (UVF) started an investigation after complaints from other cyclists. Their investigative committee heard testimony from dozens of competitors and witnesses, and, in December 1904, disqualified all the stage winners and the first four finishers (Maurice Garin, Pothier, César Garin, and Aucouturier). Ten of those disqualified were banned for one year, Garin for two years and the remaining two for life.[2] In total, 29 riders were punished.[5] The reasons for the disqualification were never made public.[22]

Fifth-placed Henri Cornet, aged 19, then became the youngest ever winner of the Tour.[23] Cornet had also been warned after he had received a lift by a car.[5] Only 15 cyclists from the original 27 that finished were not disqualified.[24]"

This was only the second ever running of the race, 110 years ago. Makes the doping of the last 20 years seem passive.

Zinger 07-20-13 09:37 PM

I was just thinking about reading of this myself and it's just wild stuff compared to what happens now.

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