|Route of the 1914 Tour de France|
The 1914 Tour de France was the 12th Tour de France, taking place from June 28th to July 26th. The race 5,405 kilometers (3,359 miles) was started by 147 riders and the average speed was 26.835 kph (16.67 mph). There were a total of 15 stages. Seven racers that started the Tour were previous Tour de France winners; Philippe Thys, Louis Trousselier, Lucien Petit-Breton, Octave Lapize, Francois Faber, Odile Defraye and Gustave Garrigou. The only notable change to the Tour protocol was the addition of race numbers being attached to the rider's bikes. The cyclists used whistles, to warn people they were coming. (mainly on downhills)
The 1914 Tour de France Field.
The day the 1914 Tour de France started, June 28, was the same day that Serbian secret agent Gavrilo Pincip assassinated Austo-Hungary's Archduke Ferdinand. This event started the tragic series of ultimatums between the powers of Europe and brought about the beginning of World War I. The 1914 Tour ended on July 26. On August 3, Germany declared war on France and invaded Belgium. The Tour de France would not be held for the next five years.
You have to look closely to see the 1914 Tour de France riders in the picture above.
The 2 favorites were the previous years Tour winner Phillipe Thys and his teammate, the talented but volatile Henri Pelissier. Thys was dominant the entire race. Even though his only stage win was the first stage, he finished in the top five in every other stage.
Thys crests the Galibier. Henri Pélissier went over first.
After thirteen stages Pelissier was in second place 31 minutes and 50 seconds behind Thys. In the 14th stage to Dunkerque, Thys' had a mechanical breakdown. Receiving any help while fixing your bicycle was not allowed, and in the 1913 Tour de France, Eugene Christophe lost too much time and ultimately his chances of a victory by repairing his own bicycle. Thys decided to take the risk of a time penalty, and bought a new wheel at a shop. This cost him a 30 minute penalty, which left Thys only 1 minute and 50 seconds ahead of Pelissier. Pelissier did his best to overcome the time difference, but Thys followed him. In the end, Thys stayed less than two minutes ahead of Henri Pelissier, and managed to keep that margin until the finish in Paris.
Final 1914 Tour de France General Classification:
1. Philippe Thys (Peugeot) 200 hours 28 minutes 48 seconds
2. Henri Pelissier (Peugeot) @ 1 minute 50 seconds
3. Jean Alavoine (Peugeot) @ 36 minutes 53 seconds
4. Jean Rossius (Alcyon) @ 1 hour 57 minutes 5 seconds
5. Gustave Garrigou (Peugeot) @ 3 hours 21 seconds
Peugeot took 4 of the top 5 places.
Phillipe Thys; winner of the 1914 Tour de France
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Henri Pelissier; finished second in the 1914 Tour de France.
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Jean Alavoine; finished third in the 1914 Tour de France.
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Jean Rossius; finished fourth in the 1914 Tour de France.
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Gustave Garrigou; finished fifth in the 1914 Tour de France.
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