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PostPosted: Wed Nov 03, 2010 5:26 pm 
Old School Grand Master
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Location: Lost in Translation
This is a short news report from 1945 in French describing an urban cyclocross race around the cobbled hills and staircases of la butte Montmartre in northern Paris, sponsored by Parisian newspaper l'Humanité:

http://www.ina.fr/sport/cyclisme/video/ ... re.fr.html

Most of these streets retain their tooth-jarring cobbled charm, and I've often thought it would be fun to organise a criterium race around the butte. The Tour de France VTT (mtb tour de france) usually includes a downhill stage on the steps in front of the Sacré Coeur (the white, domed church that dominates the skyline).

Little Jean Robic, who took second place in 1945 and won the race in 1948, was a big character in post-war French cycling, winning the 1947 Tour de France on a potent mixture of chickory and calvados.

http://www.ina.fr/sport/cyclisme/video/ ... re.fr.html

http://www.ina.fr/sport/cyclisme/video/ ... ce.fr.html

http://www.ina.fr/sport/cyclisme/video/ ... is.fr.html

If you can't view the INA site due to local restrictions, there's a slightly lower quality copy on Youtube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p1OGYOSpEgk


Last edited by one-eyed_jim on Wed Nov 03, 2010 6:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 03, 2010 5:41 pm 
Old School Grand Master
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Location: Completely in the dark, thanks to me good mate Terry....
More vintage cross action on film here;

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H9_Fs1QtsOY

The racing might be faster these days, but otherwise I think us cross riders have an easier time of it compared to days gone by!

David


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 03, 2010 5:44 pm 
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:shock: That. Is. So. Cool. Why is this not happening every weekend in every city around the UK??

And look at the crowds!?! You wouldn't get that in Wigan.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 03, 2010 8:34 pm 
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I thought I saw Rene Vietto in the 1947 T de F film.
Robic was the first I saw with a large difference in the chainwheel sizes in the mountains, early 50's, instead of the ususl 3 or 4 tooth.
For me "MTB" still means motor torpedo boat.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 03, 2010 8:59 pm 
Old School Grand Master
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keithglos wrote:
I thought I saw Rene Vietto in the 1947 T de F film.

You did indeed. He's described beating the Belgians on their own turf in stage 2, and he went on to wear yellow for most of the race:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1947_Tour_de_France

Robic's one of my favourite characters of post-war cycling - from his antics with the lead bottle in the Pyrenées to his famously ineffective home-made rubber helmet...

http://www.wooljersey.com/gallery/v/ald ... ewsIndex=1


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 03, 2010 10:21 pm 
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I always thought of the famous picture of the great climber Apo Lazarides enviously looking up at Bartali (or was it Coppi) taking a drink, 1949 was it?.
About 1980 I rode along the front from Cannes to Nice with the Lazarides freres (Apo and Lucien) while Apo was trying to teach (confuse) me with a bit of Occitan, the local dialect.

See But et Club, 190 and 191, July 1949, isn't the www wonderful.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 04, 2010 10:26 am 
Gold Trader
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Another thread should be stickied..

Great stuff.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 04, 2010 12:58 pm 
rider | rBoTM Winner
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Thanks for those links Jim, excellent stuff.

I might have to change my favourite era to the 40's now!


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 05, 2010 11:36 am 
Old School Grand Master
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Here's a transcript of the first clip:

Quote:
Rue Lepic: cent cinquante concurrents du cyclo-cross populaire de l'Humanité s'élancent à l'assaut de la butte Montmartre. Comme des fourmis pédalantes, ils se répandent sur les flancs de la célèbre colline du 18e arrondissement.

Voici les deux cent vingt-quatre marches de l'escalier du funiculaire. Le peloton s'étire car l'effort à fournir est réellement dur. Puis rapidement, il faut enfourcher le vélo, virer à la corde, et s'apprêter à foncer dans la pittoresque rue des Saules.

On file à quarante à l'heure, on met un bon toutou en joie, puis enfin on descend vers la place Constantin Pecqueur. On remonte encore, cette fois vers le Moulin de la Galette, mais les as, partis plus tard, apparaissent.

Et c'est l'arrivée. Le Parisien PIEL bat au sprint le petit Breton ROBIC.

The 1940s newsreader's accent makes it quite tricky to follow. I'll try to get a translation up later on.

Incidentally, I'm told that the Café des Deux Moulins on the left as you climb rue Lepic, not far from the starting line of this race was featured in the film "Amélie Poulain":

http://tinyurl.com/24ck7mz

I've ridden past the café hundreds of times, but I've never seen the film.


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