The third Tour de France. It might never have happened.

The Tour De France is by far the most popular cycle race in the world. The fastest rider to complete the course is given the Yellow jersey but there is also a point’s classification and this winner wears the Green Jersey. The timed winner is seen as being more prestigious, but the points systems comes from the third Tour in an attempt to stop the cheating that had occurred when riders took trains and car trips. Cheating was rife the organisers were even thinking of cancelling the event much as the modern-day organisers had done in the wake of the US Postal services teams doping cheat Lance Armstrong.  The modern day teams have mechanics and crews with them should their bicycles need any repairs and of course the crew vehicles are all checked by a company like an MOT Centre Gloucester to make sure they are road worthy themselves.

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In the last tour the top four had all been disqualified allowing the fifth placed Henri Cornet to be crowned the winner (even he had been warned after get a lift in a car). Only one of the disgraced four were allowed to compete and this was the wonderfully named Hippolyte Aucouturier. He was allowed back in after being warned of his conduct and accepting of it. Deemed to have suffered enough after this reprimand he was seen as one of the favourites to win the tour that year.  With our constant televised coverage and updates it’s hard to believe that on one noticed some of the cyclists disappearing from the race and then suddenly turning up at the finish line without breaking a sweat. For our turn of the century counterparts it wasn’t possible to keep them all under surveillance for the duration of the stage. This was made even harder when they had overnight races. It was pretty easy for someone to do a few miles, get a lift with a mate and then re-join 2 miles from the end and sprint home.

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We all that in mind the organisers changed the event so that stages were shorter and there was no need to have a night stage. The stages were increased to almost double the origin creating 11 in total. Crucially, the winner would be decided on points and not time.  The organisers also included mountain stages for the first time. These were added to equal out the competition which favoured the sprinters at the time. 60 riders set off but only 15 were to reach the finish line. There was still crowd trouble including the throwing of nails into the road.

The winner was Louis Trousselier with the Aucouturier second. Trousselier was only allowed to compete after his military service was suspended. He won 6950 Francs for his achievement which he promptly went out and drank and gambled all away with his mates.