Critérium des Porteurs de Journaux - 20 Mar 1932

From Le Miroir des Sports (France), 22 Mar 1932:

Start of the Critérium des Porteurs de Journaux, rue Réamur
The arrival of the winner, Souleman, at the Place du Tertre
"Across Paris with the newspaper couriers"

From Match l'Intran (France), 22 Mar 1932:

The Critérium Cycliste des Porteurs de Journaux

The lead group passes, beginning to tire on the pont de Passy
The start of 150 racers from the office of l'Intransigeant
The first racers pass through the control at Porte Maillot
The winner beside his wife, with his child in his arms
At the finish in place du Tertre, the winner of the race, the courier of l'Intran, Soulimant, who beat the race record by 3 minutes.
Launching, on a beautiful Sunday morning and the first Sunday of spring, if you please - more than 150 racing cyclists into the streets of Paris, seems a challenge. It is however held each year. And each year the success of the race known as Critérium Cycliste des Porteurs de Journaux, is growing. It should be said that, thanks to the collaboration of all involved, and even of the very intuitive and sporting crowd of Paris, all is facilitated, the difficulties smoothed over, and the danger eliminated. But also, to bring sport to the door of everyone, under the windows of the Sunday late-risers, isn't this a favour which deserves reward?

Everyone knows, now, what the race consists of. The porteurs de journaux - who do not have a right to a well-kept course, on their bicycles of work, weighed down with a load of fifteen kilos, must cover in Paris, and all its confusion, a distance of more than 27 kilometres. They must defy freshly dampened asphalt, tram-rails and all the difficulties born of traffic - but this, they practise daily.

Finally, they end on a hard climb, on crooked cobbles, of the rue Lepic, to finish at the top of Montmartre, at the highest point of Paris. And, do you know that the rue Lepic is approximately 800 meters long and that its ascent requires ultimate effort? Let us add that the victor of the last race covered thecourse in 54' 54", lowering by three minutes a record that was difficult to beat. And if you want to make a simple calculation, you will realize that the best rode at an average speed of 30 km/h, if not faster. It is an interesting figure and one that you will find in the best cycle races. It is evident that here the racers are in full effort from the start, that they do not think of anticipating or watching each other, and that they never miss the leaders or professional riders.

It is the everyday rivalry which divides the men sportingly. They make pretence - with tokens - to deposit newspapers in a determined newsstand. Every evening, more precisely, they are devoted to this exercise, and to nightly competitions.

The victor, André Soulimant, porteur for l'Intransigeant, a young 21-year-old, blonde boy of timid aspect, made a race of a rare courage. As soon as he reached the Left Bank, that is, after a quarter of the race, he lescaped at the front, reeling in the only adversary who had escaped in front of him. And during all this, making his effort alone with a savage stubbornness, he kept the best until the end.

He beat his immediate chasers by almost one minute to the place du Tertre. And they were in fact four riders from the same team, including two former winners of this same Critérium, Dutot and Lenoir, leading Jannin and Lebreton. I know well that team tactics are rather difficult in Paris and that the solo rider is handicapped less there than on the road. The fact remains that four should better do than one. After these men came Botchaco, the recent winner of the Critérium des Messageries Hachette, perhaps less well prepared for the hard race that is the Parisian Critérium.

There is no question of speaking here about all those who, with great or small chances, made good showings in this race. It is necessary to award them all the same praises. Hard from the daily pain, courageous, skilful, the porteurs de journaux of Paris practise the most sporting trade that exists. This is perhaps why, when the day of the race comes, they can rise to top of circumstances so well.

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