Critérium des Porteurs de Journaux - 30 Jan 1928

From Le Miroir des Sports (France), 31 Jan 1928:

Lenoir wins the Critérium des Cyclo-porteurs, a veritable test of agility

The start of the racers of the Critérium des Cyclo-porteurs
The arrival of the winner, Lenoir
Mme Conrad, first of the women
A few minutes before the start of the critérium cycliste des porteurs de journaux, Sunday morning, a group of racers who i spoke with about the race declared: - Line up some of the big aces with us, some champions of the pedal. It is perhaps not them which will arrive the first at the goal!

This is doubtless true. The critérium des cyclo-porteurs is not a race; nor is it a cyclo-cross, although the various obstacles are not missing. It is a true contest of boldness, coolness, of decision and audacity.

Admittedly, the competitors are completely in their element: they have their work machine, equipped with brakes, mudguard, large-section tires and with a surplus load of a 15 kg bundle of newspapers; but, if during their daily work they are used to finding many obstructions, they do not find any, happily, similar to that which they met, Sunday, between the rue Réaumur and the place du Tertre. Threading with unimaginable boldness and flexibility between the cars, increasingly dense as they approached the finish, shaving with an insane audacity the obstacles constantly popping up in their path, tearing impetuously through the slightest gap, the cyclo-porteurs covered 27 kilometres at top speed across the streets of the capital.

The start was very important, because, from the first instant, it was very obvious that the dropped riders could have no chance to sail against the current.

Chazal, of la Presse, made the first attempt to get away, and passed the control at porte Maillot solo. But, traffic being still relatively mild, the escapee was caught. On the climb of the place d'Italie, a peloton of four runners: Garaudet, Lenoir, Lebreton and Siméoni, had clearly escaped and sped towards the goal.

The small bets started to be exchanged. Lebreton, the "ace" of U.S. Fontenaysienne, gained a number of prognosticators. Lenoir, who had just missed winning the race two years ago, also had his fans; Siméoni, a racer commonly seen in points races at the Vel' d' Hiv', had his faithful supporters, as did Garaudet.

The rue Lepic, the "côte de Doullens" of the critérium, served as Justice of the Peace. The four racers put foot to ground, and it was the freshest, Lenoir, of Paris-Sport, who took the advantage, after a difficult bit of cyclo-cross.

Garaudet came in second. Lebreton, finished third, and collapsed from exhaustion at the finish.

The victor took only 56' 35" to cover the 27 km course. Is not this record time impressive?

Lenoir crosses the finish line at Place du Tertre
Mme. Conrad crosses the finish line at Place du Tertre

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