___Race Snippets


1st Tour de France 1903


By Barry Boyce CyclingRevealed Historian





The Beginning of the World's Greatest Cycling Race

Newspaper wars of the early 1900's sparked the first idea of a Grand Boucle (big loop) bicycle race around France. July 1, 1903 sixty brave riders came to the start line in front of the Reveil Matin (Morning Call or Alarm Clock) Café for the first Tour de France.

The race was designed after the very popular 6-day track racing only on the roads of France . Stage 1 left Paris on a 467 km (290 miles) journey to Lyon. Frenchman Maurice Garin won the first stage and held the overall lead for all 6 stages.

In Paris Le Auto's daily newspaper sales skyrocketed. Seven minutes after Maurice Garin rode victoriously into Parc des Princes Velodrome in Paris, Desgranges had 130,000 copies of a special edition of Le Auto onthe streets. The people of France took the Tour to heart and bought Le Auto in great numbers. Given the huge success of the 1903 Tour, the planning for a second Tour began soon after the end of the first.

Stage and Distance

Stage Winner

Race Leader

Stage 1 Paris-Lyon, 467 km

Maurice Garin (Fra)

Maurice Garin (Fra)

Stage 2 Lyon-Marseille, 374 km

Hyppolite Aucouturier (Fra)

Maurice Garin (Fra)

Stage 3 Marseille-Toulouse, 423 km

Hyppolite Aucouturier (Fra)

Maurice Garin (Fra)

Stage 4 Toulouse-Bordeaux, 268 km

Charles Laeser (Sui)

Maurice Garin (Fra)

Stage 5 Bordeaux-Nantes, 425 km

Maurice Garin (Fra)

Maurice Garin (Fra)

Stage 6 Nantes-Paris/Parc des Princes, 471 km

Maurice Garin (Fra)

Maurice Garin (Fra)

TdF July 1-19, 1903
2,428 Km

1. Maurice GARIN (Fra) 94h33'14"

2. Lucien Pothier (Fra) +2h59'31"

3. Fernand Augereau (Fra) +4h29'24"

Starters: 60
Finishers: 21
Average Speed: 25.679 km/h

TdF 1904

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