___Race Snippets

 

17th Tour de France 1923

 
   
 

By Barry Boyce, CyclingRevealed Historian

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pelissier's Revenge

Henri Pelissier was the most talented French racer of the post-war era. He had wins in every major race EXCEPT the Tour de France. The flamboyant Frenchman had a long history in the Tour, first racing in 1912, and he finished second in 1914. In 1919, the more talented Pelissier fell victim to the Belgian teamwork and abandoned rather than fight to the end. In 1920, he fell victim of Desgranges' absolute rule enforcement and abandoned in protest. It was here that he started his famous feud with dictatorial race director Henri Desgranges. “Pelissier doesn't know how to suffer. He will never win the Tour,” wrote Henri Desgranges in 1921. Henri Pelissier would get Desgranges to change his word in 1923.

Henri Pelissier began his charge to the top when the Tour started the Alpine climbing stages. The brutal climb of the Col d'Izoard was the perfect launching pad for Pelissier's attack. He broke away from the leaders on a false flat section before the Izoard and cleared the climb alone. Pelissier won the stage in Briancon by 6 minutes. He took the race lead and the Maillot Jaune.

Pelissier solidified his lead on the next stage when he and his brother Francis broke away from the pack on the climb of the Col des Aravis. The brothers flew over the Col du Galibier, with Henri winning the stage in Geneva . The two victories in the Alps ensured Henri Pelissier of the overall victory. He rode into Paris with a grand victory. French racing fans came out in record numbers to greet the finish of the Tour and embrace the first French champion since Gustave Garrigou in 1911.

Henri Pelissier came away from the Tour in 1923 with the victory he so sorely deserved. Henri Desgranges, who in 1921 wrote negatively of his TdF effort, was forced to recant. By the end of the Tour in 1923, Desgranges eloquently wrote of Henri Pelissier, “The Mountains seemed to sink lower, sunk by the victorious thrust of his muscles.”

Stage and Distance

Stage Winner

Race Leader

Stage 1 PARIS-LE HAVRE, 388 km

Robert Jacquinot (Fra)

Robert Jacquinot (Fra)

Stage 2 LE HAVRE-CHERBOURG, 371 km

Ottavio Bottecchia (Ita)

Ottavio Bottecchia (Ita)

Stage 3 CHERBOURG-BREST, 405 km

Henri Pelissier (Fra)

Ottavio Bottecchia (Ita)

Stage 4 BREST-SABLES D'OLONNE, 412 km

Albert Dejonghe (Bel)

Romain Bellenger (Fra)

Stage 5 LES SABLES D'OLONNE, 482 km

Robert Jacquinot (Fra)

Romain Bellenger (Fra)

Stage 6 BAYONNE-LUCHON, 326 km

Jean Alavoine (Fra)

Ottavio Bottecchia (Ita)

Stage 7 LUCHON-PERPIGNAN, 323 km

Jean Alavoine (Fra)

Ottavio Bottecchia (Ita)

Stage 8 PERPIGNAN-TOULON, 411 km

Lucien Buysse (Bel)

Ottavio Bottecchia (Ita)

Stage 9 TOULON-NICE, 281 km

Jean Alavoine (Fra)

Ottavio Bottecchia (Ita)

Stage 10 NICE-BRIANCON, 274 km

Henri Pelissier (Fra)

Henri Pelissier (Fra)

Stage 11 BRIANCON-GENEVA (Sui), 260 km

Henri Pelissier (Fra)

Henri Pelissier (Fra)

Stage 12 GENEVA (Sui)- STRASBOURG , 377 km

Joseph Muller (Fra)

Henri Pelissier (Fra)

Stage 13 STRASBOURG-METZ, 300 km

Romain Bellenger (Fra)

Henri Pelissier (Fra)

Stage 14 METZ-DUNKERQUE, 433 km

Felix Goethals (Bel)

Henri Pelissier (Fra)

Stage 15 DUNKERQUE-PARIS/Parc des Princes, 343 km

Felix Goethals (Bel)

Henri Pelissier (Fra)

 

TdF June 24-July 22, 1923
5,386 Km

1. Henri PELISSIER (Fra) 222h15'30"

2. Ottavio Bottecchia (Ita) +30'41"

3. Romain Bellenger (Fra) +1h04'43"

Starters: 139
Finishers: 48
Average Speed: 24.233 km/h

 

 

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