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walkowiak
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Take Me Back to Montluçon

Stage 22, Montluçon to Paris, a long, flat stage - supposedly ceremonial

ChaptersLunch in the Heart of France (Almost)Twenty MenA Warm Welcome for WalkoClassement Lunch In The Heart of France (Almost) Bruère-Allichamps is the very heart of France. Its geographical centre. Like many towns of the region, it is a drive-through town. A place you stop if you’re unfortunate enough to run out of petrol, or if […]

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The Crash, The Bandit, The Pursuit

Stage 19, Grenoble to Saint-Etienne, including the climb of the Oeillon

Chapters ConjectureCometh The MomentThe ChaseTop Gun & BidotClassement Soundtrack La Chasse aux Papillons, Georges Brassens Conjecture While Walko has been having his doubts, there are others who – whisper it – are not convinced that he could, or even should, win the Tour de France. Some reasons: The man is a water-carrier who got lucky […]

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The Revival of Charly Gaul, and the Man Who Wasn't There

Stage 17, Gap to Turin, including the climbs of the Izoard, Mont Génèvre and Sestriere.

Chapters Welcome to IzoardLe Jeune VieuxThe Man Who Wasn’t ThereClassement Soundtrack La quete, Jacques Brel “The Tour de France is over. Now we’ve got a Six Day race…” Roger Hassenforder Welcome to Izoard Roger Hassenforder is not often quoted as a Tour de France sage. More of a goon, even though 1956 is proving to […]

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None The Wiser, Nothing By Half

A rest day in Aix-en-Provence and an opportunity for the cyclists to soak in some culture and put their feet up.

Chapters None The Wiser, Nothing By HalfLouison Loves LaurédiA Picot in the TourAdmire Cezanne, Roger SoundtrackTour de France, Wout Wagtmans & Wim Van Est (yes, really) None The Wiser, Nothing By Half There have been many yellow jerseys so far in this Tour de France, but as the race takes a break in Aix-en-Provence, the […]

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Operation Lose The Yellow Jersey

Stage 10, Bordeaux to Bayonne, undulating but mostly flat ahead of the Pyrenees stages

ChaptersHard Men In The RainBienvenue chez les DarrigadeNo Fairytale in BayonneClassement SoundtrackL’Orage, Georges Brassens Hard Men In The Rain 201km to cover, and the weather has turned. Bordeaux is wet, and every rider bar one is wearing their transparent rain jackets. That rider is the Breton tricolore Francois Mahé. The man from Morbihan isn’t even […]

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Hassen-le-Magnifique

Stage 9 - La Rochelle to Bordeaux, undulating but mostly a flat, preparatory stage ahead of the rest day and the Pyrenees

ChaptersYellow, Not WalkowiakA Dutch EscapeHassen AttacksBobet and GemClassement SoundtrackLa Mauvaise Reputation, Georges Brassens Yellow, Not Walkowiak There’s the yellow jersey! Look – it’s the yellow jersey! The peloton rolls out of La Rochelle and still hardly anybody knows the name of Roger Walkowiak. Or at least, hardly anyone can pronounce Walkowiak. Still, he’s just keeping […]

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Why do they have to go so fast?

Stage 8 - Angers to La Rochelle, 180km, a flat stage, and an opportunity for journalists to reminisce

ChaptersThe Good Old DaysAdmire the Ponts-de-CéMiguel and the Hat-trickAllez, GégèneClassement Soundtrack Les Désespérés, Jacques Brel The Good Old Days There are those around le Tour who miss those days where the riders would roll along at 30km per hour. Andre Leducq, French legend and multiple Tour winner, is one such man. Why do they have […]

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The Water Carrier, The Saviour, and The Protector

Stage 7, Lorient to Angers, 242km mostly flat and a day for the breakaway as the Tour heads south-east

Chapters Dreams of YellowDarrigade’s Nightmare ScenarioVirtual YellowThe Long WaitYou’ll Have To Lose That JerseyClassement Dreams of Yellow Has any Tour been approached at such a furious pace? The riders, heading east into the Loire valley today, may be forgiven for taking today’s stage at a slightly slower speed. The sun is shining, there’s barely a […]

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The Yellow Jersey, the Level Crossing, and the Invisible Man

Stage 6, 192km, St. Malo to Lorient, undulating but generally a day for the breakaway

ChaptersMonsieur Allard’s Slight MiscalculationThe ReactionThe Coming TogetherClassement SoundtrackEmmenez-moi, Charles Aznavour Monsieur Allard’s Slight Miscalculation Monsieur Allard has had a quiet Tour thus far. The Head of the Tour de France organising committee received a visit last night from the Spanish team director who complained vigorously about the St. Malo velodrome, which he claimed was responsible […]

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An Alsatian Among The Bretons, or "The Broken Pedal"

Stage 4, a stage split into two stages - a 15km hilly, challenging time trial and a flat 125km ride to Caen. 

Stage 4a – Time Trial – Circuit des Essarts, Rouen, 15.1kmStage 4b – Rouen to Caen, 125km Chapters An Alsatian Among The BretonsLandminesChristmasJust One Year AgoRebuilding His ReputationThe Broken PedalClassement An Alsatian Among The Bretons The keen observer would have noticed that Roger Hassenforder is riding for the Ouest team, which is to all intents […]

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