Sunday morning, the snow falls in larges flakes while the racers of the Critérium des Porteurs de Journaux pass through the Porte Maillot
Jamin, winner of the Critérium des Porteurs de Journaux, arrives all smiles at Place du Tertre
Through the rising curve of the rue Lepic, dominated by the Moulins de la Galette and the trees powdered in white, Jamin, winner of the Critérium des Porteurs de Journaux, climbs, through a track where salt still liquifies the snow, towards the finish at Place du Tertre, Montmartre
The newspaper couriers of the capital, who fill us with wonder at their virtuosity and flexibility every day in the sea of cars, contested their annual championship Sunday morning, in really painful circumstances. It was, in effect, through an icy mud, and sometimes even through blinding gusts of snow, that the valiant cycloporteurs made their way from rue Réaumur to Place du Tertre, via Porte Maillot, Place d'Italie, Place de la Nation, and the exterior boulevards. Of course, there were quite a few falls and heroi-comic episodes, but in the final analysis, it was the best who won, Jamin, who already won last year.
Paris: Critérium des Porteurs de Journaux - the victor, Jamin, quickly ascends rue Lepic in picturesque old Montmartre. One sees at the bottom the Moulin de la Galette, its roof whitened with snow.
Critérium des Porteurs de Journaux, organised by l'Intransigeant - through the snow which falls in gusts, three men, Durand, Verdier and Speurt have escaped, and try to increase their lead
Critérium des Porteurs de Journaux - on the hard climb of the rue Lepic, Lahaix (28) and Tixidre (59), put feet to the ground
When one speaks of the Porteurs de Journaux, one appreciates their skill, their courage, their aptitude for counting. Sunday they had occassion to show us their skill - they rolled on dangerous ground; they were courageous for the roughness of their task did not dissuade them; it remains for us, after the race, to use the figures which they understand so well. The winner, Jamin, finished the 29.5 km race in 54 minutes; 58 of the 86 entrants finished the race; the first 15 of them in less than one hour.
If they, at the time of the start, were released from their fears because the snow, melting on the ground, did not make the riding on asphalt or cobbles too dangerous, they were, a few seconds later, when snow began to fall again, rather apprehensive. Some crashes were to confirm their fears. These, however, were forgotten in the desire of all to make their best run, for the honor of their teams. And they rode so well that, as they pass, one applauds their guts.
The winner, Jamin, is a superb athelete who has won this race for the third time. One could say that Sunday he had won again by mid-race, as 200m separated him from the leader, Georges Speurt. His pedal strokes were easy, the patience he showed was, to our viewpoint, an assurance. By 26 seconds, gained in the final climb of the rue Lepic, he won the Critérium. Everything in the sprint. And though he might not have been ready to start again, his physical condition was quite reassuring. Had there been good weather, a record time of 49 minutes could have been recorded. We have never seen at the finish a winner in such a perfect state. And if he acknowledged, in front of the microphone of l'Intran-Match, that the race had been long, one could beleive that it had been exhausting for all.
The team of Paris-Sport was remarkable. The Belgian team had, at the start, one of its riders in a prime position before a crash forced him to abandon. The Belgians continued, racing as a team, and finished together, with one slightly ahead of the group. The Belgian method of carrying is different than ours. The Belgians have an excuse there, as we will have one from them when our couriers enter in the Critérium des Porteurs Belges.
The best finisher of the representatives of l'Intran, Soulimant, rode a good race. He remains one of the porteurs able to race with the best of the riders.
The outcome, a beautiful success for the porteurs and the fine performances which they provided; a great popular success, as snow and the thaw did not prevent the public from coming in numbers to encourage the "roule-toujours". And also a beautiful demonstration of Franco-Belgian friendship, which joined together in a cordial lunch the winning and Belgian teams, happy at their success and eager to host.
Article scan courtesy of Aldo Ross.
Jamin nearing the finish
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