Lapebie's Great Ride Goes for Naught
French National Champion Roger Lapebie's fitness gave his country great hope for victory in 1934. The race played perfectly into Lapebie's plan. A four rider breakaway led the race with 10 km to the finish in Roubaix. The race began to unravel for the breakaway's 2 Frenchman when Rene Le Greves broke his handlebars and Lapebie punctured. Word came that the French team car was stuck behind in traffic and Lapebie could not wait. Spotting a woman's bike on the side of the road, Lapebie in violation of the rules grabbed it and continued to chase the 2 Belgians. A few kilometers later the frantic Frenchman abandoned the small woman's bike and grabbed another roadside bike. Inspired Lapebie caught a surprised Gaston Rebry and Jean Wauters and blew right past both Belgians. He dropped Rebry and Wauters to take the apparent victory.
Rules of the race in 1934 stated that no “changing of bikes” were permitted and once officials discovered Lapebie's bike was missing the “race sticker ” the rule was enforced.
Second placed rider Gaston Rebry was awarded the victory.
P-R April 1, 1934
255 Km, Porte Maillot Paris to Roubaix (Ave des Villas)
Gaston REBRY (Bel) 7h52'07”
Jean Wauters (Bel)
Frans Bonduel (Bel)
Average Speed: 32.415 km/h
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