Only in this way can be described the French race Paris-Tours of 1921. A tale of those grandchildren clamoring of grandmother, before going to bed.
The struggle in the last issue was commended for the continuous speed record offered to the winners, thanks to a relatively easy route and favorable weather, nowhere near his version in April of '21, when 85 contestants found at the start of that ice breakfast, having to travel 342 km through blizzards, rain and terrible winds.
Nearly half the peloton gave up near Chartres, with only 50 km race on foot, leaving brothers Pellissier, Louis Mottiat and Albert de Jonghe at the top of the race. In Chateaudun, about 130 kilometers before the finish, the weather was so cruel that bent even the toughest cyclist in that season Henri Pellisier (winner of Milan-San Remo ,Tour de France and many more matches, characterized by its ability against hardship). Thus, older age, of two struggling brothers decided not to continue his quest, giving the cloak to his brother, Francis. According to legend , this scene took place in a cafe over a glass of Caribbean rum from Martinique-improbable when you consider that it considered alcohol, the best defense against the cold.
While in the cafe were happening all these and the time was passing, Eugene Christophe (one of the pioneers of Cyclo-Cross!) took the chance to lead the race with a superhuman effort, and driving past them in his favorite element, mud.
Meanwhile, Francis Pellisier, was forced to several stops in order to correct the damages of his bike, managing three times after a hard chase to recapture him Eugene. The only one who could bear to follow the frantic pace of these efforts was Mottiat, who barely bear to hold.
Eventually, Francis managed to get a safe distance-not that there was such a distance at the time, but managed to put a few minutes between him and Eugene-until a flat tire came and was much harder work. His hands were frozen, unable to separate the tire from the rim and the Eugene took the lead again, Francis tore the seal with his teeth, starting once the chase on with bare rim.
With the metal rattle hitting the ground, the persistent Francis overcame the last time he passed again his exhausted opponent in the final uphill, a few kilometers before Tours, taking a memorable victory.
Only 8 riders reached the finish that day, with the last one being to end more than four hours behind the winner ..