Steve Maaslands wrote:
>According to what is considered the definitive Italian period text about
>cycling sport and history: "Storia del Velocipede e dello Sport
>Ciclistico" (1946) the Italian federation paid for the Italian team
>participation of professionals in the World Championships and Tour de
>France, as well as amateur national team members participating in the
>Tour de France. They also supplied and paid the Direttore Sportivo,
>mechanics and soigneurs. Let us not forget that on-the-road repairs were
>to be supplied solely by the riders.
Again, I don't see a contradiction. I am sure some of the costs, especially travel and such, were paid by Federations and others. But that still leaves a lot of costs - just ask any race organizer in the U.S., whose racers all pay their own ways.
For example, you have the yellow bikes. They didn't carry advertising, so I assume Desgrange paid for them. In later years, the Tour provided mechanics for all the teams who did not bring their own (and even in the 1950s, riders had their choice of bringing their bike or getting one from the organizers. For exmaple, the King of the Mountains in 1953 used a yellow bike.) You have to transport all the equipment, etc. In the 1950s and 1960s, the Tour had an entire fleet of cars that were provided to the national teams.
The consensus of the French press is that the advertising caravan
offset the added costs incurred by the support required for national
teams. It could be, of course, that Desgrange just was looking for a
justification to commercialize the Tour, and said: "Well, we have to,
to pay for our cost," when there were none.
>It would be interesting to know who paid for the regional French teams.
Does anybody know?
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