At 11:18 AM -0800 11/8/06, Jerome & Elizabeth Moos wrote:
>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
The translation is that "They supported him to the utmost."
What happened was the Fontan blew up badly in the mountains, but his team controlled the race tightly. Fontan was barely hanging on, but nobody attacked, and so he kept the jersey. It helped that Alcyon was the biggest team.
This was the last straw that persuaded Henri Desgrange to get rid of trade teams, and use national teams starting in 1930. The idea was that while a bunch of French racers would give the Alcyon guys some slack, you could count on the Italians to use the opportunity if it presented itself.
Add that the 1930s were a time of Nationalist fervor, and the National teams duking it out made for a great success. And certainly, the 1930 Tour was a lot more exciting than the previous ones. (Which is why I selected that for VBQ, and not the 1929 edition.)
After all, the Tour back then was a plot to sell newspapers, and nobody wants to buy a paper to read about a boring race.
When this discussion started, I had forgotten that it was Fontan who won in 1929. -- Jan Heine Editor Bicycle Quarterly 140 Lakeside Ave #C Seattle WA 98122 http://www.bikequarterly.com