(Example: Racing:Jean Robic)

Date: Wed, 8 Nov 2006 11:18:44 -0800 (PST)
From: Jerome & Elizabeth Moos <>
To: The Old Bicycle Co <>, Jan Heine <>
In-Reply-To: <027601c70361$4bf92a40$61a2f059@SHOWROOM>

This would indeed indicate that Fontan did wear yellow in 1929, though perhaps not in 1930, and it repeats the story about a broken fork - in 1929. Is the confusion that we are talking about two different years here? Meantime, I guess my French is a little rusty. Can someone explain what the winner Dewaele's Alcyon team did, contrary to the rules, to allow him to win despite being ill? The French is "l'ont soutenu a fond." Very literally that might translate "had undertaken him at (or to) depth." But that translation doesn't make any sense in this context. Anyone know the correct translation?


Jerry Moos Big Spring, West Texas

The Old Bicycle Co <> wrote: Re: [CR]c. 1929/30 FONTAN BICYCLE OF PAU (TOUR DU FRANCE).Sorry, but I'm not trying to claim it as anything. But the reason for bring it up was to find more history about it./ him or the maker ect.

If it was his bicycle or one he rode that would be a wonderful thing, but bicycle history is like archaeology, unless you ask the questions you'll never know.

This site has an interesting account of the 1929 tour.

Fontan was 6th on stage 5 / 8th on stage 6/ joint 1st on stage 7/ 2nd on stage 8 & 1st on stage 9.

Tim Gunn (Director) The Old Bicycle Co. Cut Elms Farm, Aythorpe Roding, Near Great Dunmow, Essex, CM6 1PQ. United Kingdom.

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----- Original Message -----
From: "Jan Heine"
To: "Jerome & Elizabeth Moos"
Sent: Wednesday, November 08, 2006 5:37 PM

At 9:14 AM -0800 11/8/06, Jerome & Elizabeth Moos wrote:

I would think that, given the demands of traning, a star cyclist would find it difficult to find time to run such a business, but there may have been instances of a cyclist actually owning such a company and putting day-to-day operations in the hands of a family member or long-time associate, with the star perhaps devoting more time in the offseason.

In most cases, the pros rented out their names, and weren't involved with the bike production, especially in France. Louison Bobet won the Tour in the 1950s on a bike marked with his name.

However, in 1930, the Tour de France was run with national teams, and the organizer provided the famous "anonymous" yellow bikes - see also the article by Leducq (the winner of that year's Tour) in Vintage Bicycle Quarterly Vol. 4, No. 3.

So it seems unlikely that Fontan rode a bike with his name on it, as this would have been counter to the rules.

Regarding Fontan's fate in the Tour, I checked the VBQ article, and Leducq reports that Fontan suffered from saddle sores and abandoned on stage 9. Nothing about a broken bike. Perhaps Leducq had forgotten about it by the time he wrote his memoirs (from which this article was translated) in the 1970s. On the other hand, Mauclair, also a member of the French team, abandoned on the same stage after breaking his collarbone in a crash.

I suspect the bike in question is another of those marketing efforts... It may be a nice bike - I do look forward to the photos - but the efforts to identify one's barn find as a famous bike based on nothing but a vivid imagination do get a bit tiring at times. I once was contacted by someone who had discovered a bike with a "Star of David" in the chainrings, and concluded it must have been Alex Singer's Hurtu from the 1930s technical trials. The reasoning stood that Singer may have been Jewish... However, the chainrings were a standard pattern at the time, and the star of david required some imagination to be seen. Most of all, Singer never rode for Hurtu, nor did he publicly proclaim his faith, if he had one. Finally, I doubt he was the only Jew in France in the 1930s.

The Old Bicycle Co wrote:

As for the story of his loss of yellow jersey, it seems to be that French artistic licence was liberally used.

Especially since Fontan never even wore the yellow jersey. See the VBQ article or a short history of the Tour at
Jan Heine
Bicycle Quarterly
140 Lakeside Ave #C
Seattle WA 98122