___Race Snippets


2nd Tour de France 1904


By Barry Boyce, CyclingRevealed Historian





The Tour de France: A Survival Story

Riots, Sabotage, and Dirty Tricks threaten the existence of the World's greatest cycling race. “The Tour is finished...” said a dejected Henri Desgranges during the 1904 Tour de France (TdF) .

The problems facing race commissaire Geo LeFevre were far more complicated than crashes and punctures. All the problems during the early part of the Tour would seem minor after the brewing controversies explode in the future stages. Many of the stages were run through the darkness of night, providing ample opportunities for cheating. As bad as the rule infractions and dirty tricks were during stage one, the future stages would only get worse. A breakaway group approached the top of the Col de la Republique on stage two, near the hometown of Antoine Faure. A carload of his fans demanded the lead group let Faure win the stage. Having been delayed by the car load of fans Faure caught the leaders and at the top of the climb a large mob lets Faure pass and physically blocked the road for the others in the breakaway. In a scene right out of the USA's “Wild West," race commissaire LeFevre drove up to the mob, firing his pistol in the air to disperse the crowd and allow the race to continue.

July 24, 1904 Maurice Garin rode into the Parc des Princes Velodrome in Paris with what seemed to be his second grand victory in the Tour de France, but the Tour that year was far from over. Numerous complaints were issued to race officials as well as the French bicycle racing federation Union Velocepedique de France. During the period from July 24, 1904 until November 30, 1904, the UVF proceeded with its investigation on the dark Tour of ‘04. In the end the French Federation issued severe penalties for the violations their investigations had found:

•  Maurice Garin, Lucien Pothier, Cesar Garin, and Hyppolite Aucouturier, the first four in the General Classification, were disqualified and removed from the final results.
• Nine others were also disqualified and removed from the results.
•  Maurice Garin received a two-year suspension.
•  Pierre Chevallier, Chaput and Lucien Pothier received lifetime suspensions.
•  Ferdinand Payan and Charles Prevost received one-year suspensions.
• Hyppolite Aucouturier received a warning and a strong reprimand for his actions.
•  The overall winner (after the disqualifications) 20 year old Henri Cornet and second place finisher Jean-Baptiste Dortigacq received warnings for minor violations.

“The Tour is finished... a victim of its own popularity” said a disgusted race director Henri Desgranges. It would take some time but Desgranges did continue the promotion of a third Tour in 1905. The necessary changes were put into place for the 1905 Tour de France by Desgranges. The world's greatest bicycle race would proceed and continue to grow.

Final GC

Final GC (before DQ's)

1. Henri CORNET (Fra) 96h05'55"

1. Maurice Garin (Fra) 93h06'24”

2. Jean-Baptiste Dortignacq (Fra) +2h16'14"

2. Lucien Pothier (Fra) +6'28”

3. Alois Catteau (Bel) +9h01'25"

3. Cesar Garin (Fra) +1h51'03”

4. Jean Dargassies (Fra) +13h04'30"

4. Hyppolite Aucouturier (Fra) +2h52'26”

5. Julien Maitron (Fra) +19h06'15"

5. HENRI CORNET (Fra) +2h59'27”

6. Auguste Daumain (Fra) +22h44'36"

6. J-B DORTIGNACQ (Fra) +5h15'36”

7. Louis Coolsaet (Bel) +23h44'20"

7. Philippe Jousselin (Fra) +8h33'42”

8. Achille Colas (Fra) +25h09'50"

8. ALOIS CATTEAU (Fra) +12H00'56”

9. Rene Saget (Fra) +25h55'16"

9. Camille Fily (Fra) +15h36'42”

10. Gustave Drioul (Bel) +30h54'49"

10. J. DARGASSIES (Fra) +16h04'01”

11. Henri Paret (Fra) +32h18'39"

12. Auguste Gauthier (Fra) +33h14'02"

(*) Disqualification 11/30/1904.

13. Auguste Rist (Fra) +35h01'20"

Maurice Garin (Fra) Race Leader

14. Damelincourt (Fra) +48h39'03"

Lucien Pothier (Fra)

15. Antoine Deflotriere (Fra) +101h28'52"

Cesar Garin (Fra)

Hyppolite Aucuturier (Fra)


Chaput (Fra)


Philippe Jousselin (Fra)


Camille Fily (Fra)


TdF July 2-24, 1904
2,428 Km

1. Henri CORNET (Fra) 96h05'55"

2. Jean-Baptiste Dortignacq (Fra)

3. Alois Catteau (Bel)

Starters: 88
Finishers: 15
Average Speed: 24.849 km/h

TdF 1903

TdF 1905

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