Cognasson and Monel are heavily escorted.
A velocar accompanies the men in the lead
Marcel Cognasson whose name is larger-than-life, is the uncontested sovereign of the triporteurs. Six times before he had won the championship held for the three wheelers. He has just won it a seventh time, beating, in addition, his own speed record. Thus let us give him, without hesitation, the title of triporteur hors catégorie.
This last year, his Majesty Cognasson had, however, found a worthy adversary in the person of the rider Robert Petit, known as the "flying cyclops", who has only one eye, but had solid muscles and audacity for the whole race. Cognasson even had, last year, to lower his flags in front of his stubborn rival, and this defeat seriously affected him.
However, this time, Robert Petit did not appear among the competitors, and our sovereign - I want to say Marcel Cognasson - hoped to be able to exert his authority without having to undergo the least hitch. But, to replace the "flying cyclops", fate dispatched to him an entirely ardent new adversary, an eager youth, additionally, who nearly stole the royal sceptre. Indeed, at the start, as always, a very rapid pace was made. Cognasson, broke away, but had th edisagreeable surprise of discovering on his wheel a strapping young man in the red and black jersey of Arcueil-Cachan, René Monel, who appeared determined to not to let himself be dropped.
Cognasson, a little irritated, tried unsuccessfully to attack repeatedly, throwing his whole body into the descents, hugging turns on two wheels, disappearring furiously into the fog (which is not only an image, because a thick "pea soup" covered the city), the tenacious Monel was always there, proving to be so strong, so energetic and so nimble on this very difficult course encumbered, as always, with a sea of followers of every kind and ability.
It was, all in all, a famous duel, but the race is only summarized by this battle, although they had, in the hope of making the difference between the racers less dramatic, provided those with light "tris " and those burdened with heavy machines, raised the payload from 65 to 80 kilograms. Next year, undoubtedly, the racers will be loaded with 100 kilograms : that may not prevent Cognasson and his traditional rivals to again largely dominate, but the number, in any case, will take hold of the imagination of the general public.
Marcel Cognasson, who beat Monel easily, acheived, for the 40 km, the time of 1h 18m 37s, which beat the old record by some 2 minutes. That represents as average speed of 29.764 km/h, quite impressive, you must agree!
At the finish, many fans were astonished that with a machine more heavily loaded, the winner beat the record. That can be explained, however, if one considers that Cognasson had an improved gearing system this time, and that the condition of the course improves year after year (the new passages, in particular, cut off valuable seconds).
Results: 1. Marcel Cognasson, 1h 18m 37s (previous record 1h 20m 35s); 2. Monel, at four bike-lengths ; 3. Bourdet, 1h 22m 40s ; 4. De Dooy, 1h 22m 42s ; 5. Coart, 1h 28m 26s, etc...
Article courtesy of The Horton Collection.
Championnat des Triporteurs - As is to be expected, Cognasson, triporteur for l'Intran, carries off the popular test. Here he is escorted by his fellow workers.
The triporteurs, thase courageous "roule-toujours" which fear neither wind, nor cold, nor rain, found themselves Sunday morning in front of the Vel' d' Hiv' for their fifteenth championship.
There were 33 of them, at the start, wearing small white caps, which added a bright note to this black and sad morning at the end of autumn. God, the weather was cold! From its bed in the Seine a curtain of fog rose, which spread out over the quay and froze the passers-by. After M. Robert Joly had given the starting signal, the racers were off at 10 a.m., more or less.
Immediately after the start, Bourdon and Grillo, attacked off the front, and shared the honors of photography. But soon, at the quai de Javel, they were caught by a group of four men containing the past and future winner Cognasson. At the viaduct d'Auteuil, this group took a lead on the other competitors which continued to grow on the cobbles along the city walls.
But Cognasson esccaped after the porte de Versailles, and, followed by Monel, had about 800 meters lead on the trio of Bourdin, Grillo, and Bien by the porte de Vincennes.
The battle was tight between the two men in the lead, and in the descent of the porte Chaumont, Monel, taking his last chance, took a hundred meters from Cognasson.
But Cognasson quickly took the beast by its hair, and on the quai de Grenelle, resisting Monel's attack, he finally won the championship, for the 7th time.
He was carried in triumph by his friends, who were enthralled by this race carried out with such wits.
Course des Triporteurs - start from the quai de Grenelle
Photo courtesy of The Horton Collection.
An 1936 advertisement for the "Milpat" front transmission (I'm not quite sure how this device works), drawing on its success in the 1935 triporteurs championship:
4 devices, which were intended for standard bicycles, were assembled, without modification, on the machines of entrants in the 1935 championnat des triporteurs, the hardest test for mechanical gear-changers of this kind, and the first race in which they took part. Ist place went to cognaisson, with an average speed of 29.764 km/h over 39 km, beating the record established in 1931 by 2 minutes, in spite of 15 kg of additional load. The 3 other triporteurs entered with the devices finished 4th, 5th and 6th out of 29 finishers and 39 entrants, proving the validity of this victory!
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