The three leaders before the Porte de Versailles. In order: Cognasson, Soulimant who will be the winner, and Gillio
The triporteur Cognasson respects tradition and, as in 1933, suffers a crash at the Porte de Pantin, but there is no lack of volunteer assistance
In spite of the invasion of Parisian roads by motorized triporteurs, our fellows at l'Auto continue to encourage the pedal triporteurs, thanks to their annual race. And, curiously enough, whereas the number of "tris" is falling in Paris, the number of entrants is increasing.
Fifty entrants showed up at the start at the Velodrome d'Hiver, Sunday morning, and, stoic under a bit too much rain, they could give the impression to all have an equal chance over the 40 km course. In reality, if one looked more closely, one realized that certain triporteurs were genuine racing machines, alongside the others, sometimes ramshackle contraptions or of imposing size.
Elsewhere, after five hundred meters of racing, Cognasson, the favourite, mounted on a light machine with a pointed box, a remarkable suspension, and derailleur gears, flexibly passed the group with a satisfied smile.
Before the turn onto boulevard Brune, one understood that the middle ranks of the competitors had dropped terribly since previous years. Only three men remained in the race: Cognasson, Soulimant and Gillio. The trio had taken a considerable lead on the main peloton group, which increased by the middle of the race to ten minutes.
The race could thus have been montone; but incidents always await on slippery pavement and in the medium of an insane and dangerous racket of cars and cyclists. However, it was none of these causes which intervened in the development of the various destinies of the three leaders..
In the hard climbs towards the Portes des Versailles, d'Italie, de Charenton and des Lilas, Cognasson regularly took the better of Soulimant, who was always very close, and Gillio, who, at a distance of 200 meters at the porte d'Italie, could never rejoin.
Cognasson relied greatly on himself, as he was not very surprised to see, by the Porte des Lilas, Soulimant always at his side. He tried many escapes, but his adversary always returned courageously. It was in the face of this impossibility of escape that Cognasson became a little irritated, and descended much too quickly on the boulevard Sérurier. It occurred in front of the Porte de Pantin, a turn was missed, a swerve to the left hit pavement, breaking a wheel and many hopes.
In spite of a skillful and fortunate repair, the race was over, and Soulimant was not rejoined on the boulevard de Grenelle, and preserved a one minute lead on Cognasson, beating Gillio in the sprint.
The fourth place rider, Carmet, arrived more than 13 minutes down on the winner, who covered the 40 kilometers in 1h 22m 1s, a remarkable time given the weather.
The lesson to be learned from this race is that the advantage of competitors who, apart from their trade as deliverymen, paticipate in sporting events, is too clear. Thus, the winner Soulimant has won, in 1932, the Critérium des Porteurs de Journaux, and this year, won no less than four interclub events for the Velo Club 19e, of which he is a member. Additionally, following the example of his predecessor in palmares, Robert Petit, he will turn professional next year, riding for Dilecta.
Taking this into consideration, wouldn't it be possible to envision two categories in the coming years, or to establish a handicap?
That would allow these brave little men, whose great effort passes unnoticed, to know a little of the sporting glory which transcends popular accolades.
Soulimant, of the l'Intransigeant courier team, at the finish of the Championnat des Triporteurs, which he won in front of his coworker Cognasson
For the second consecutive year, the Championnat des Triporteurs has been taken from Marcel Cognassion as a result of delays due to incidents during the race, after he has proven that he remains the best. Last year, he broke spokes while in the company of Petit; this year, he broke a wheel in a crash, and Soulimant had only to stay in his slipstream.
He is powerless against this bad luck...
At the start Cognasson, unleashed, broke away from all his competitors, with the exception of Soulimant and Gillio. A little later the latter slacked off, and the two couriers of l'Intran-Match had the race won. Cognasson had to stop first to put his chain back on, but caught up again rapidly, although Soulimant had redoubled hsi efforts, after having appeared to hesitate over which tactics to adopt. Now furious, Cognasson wanted to escape from his teammate, and it was while hurtling down boulevard Serurier that he missed a turn and went onto the curb...
Why follow Soulimant, who has nothing left but to ride at a good pace on to the boulevard de Grenelles? We remained with Cognasson, who having repaired his wheel somewhat, went back to work. Gillio had passed him... Furiously shaking his load of sixty-five kilos, Cognasson gained meter by meter on Gillio, and, four hundred meters from the finish, passed him like a whirlwind, finishing only forty seconds behind Soulimant, after having had two minutes delay.
Is it not fair to associate, in our praises, the names of Soulimant and Cognasson?
This morning the 14th Championnat des Triporteurs was run, and was won by Soulimant. Here we see Soulimant carried in triumph after his victory.
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