Championnat des Triporteurs - The winner, Legrand, heads for the finish, bringing with him an enormous procession of supporters.
To his title of champion of the porteurs de journaux, Legrand has just added that of champion of the triporteurs. On two, as well as on three wheels, he is strongest. And, unsatisfied with beating his rivals, he also has lowered the records of the race... Always with his beautiful, broad disarming smile...
"I could have done better", he says while dismounting from his triporteur, not pretentiously, but because he thought so... and also because he had waited for a long time for Jarousse, who was sick.
When he left him behind, it was out of fear of seeing the return of competitors distanced at the start. However, Legrand, who is not a fast sprinter, did not intend to play the game of the speed men. At the Porte de Vincennes, therefore, he took leave of his inseparable friend Jarousse. Death in the heart... because Legrand and Jarousse are of the same type as Pills and Tabet. Duettists...
From the porte de Vincennes to the quai de Grenelle, the length of the fortifications - or rather what remains of them - Legrand was dazzling. Well-posed on his "tri", he rolled at forty km/h without thinking of the 80 kilos he was carrying.
At the finish, he had ridden around Paris at and average speed of more than 32 km/h. Not bad. More remarkably he was, at the destination, fresh and pink, his hair hardly messed up. He changed jerseys, as a precaution. Refreshment quickly arrived. But he had no need for it.
One could very well call Legrand: "the man with the silver kneecap". After a crash, Legrand lost, indeed, the kneecap he was born with, and a daring surgeon gave him that which he will carry with him to heaven or hell - consider that...
It was thought that Legrand would never ride again. He was relentless, and his knee, little by little, could work usefully. The soigneur Thémar, who already returned Lacquehay to his feet, was no stranger to this new resurrection. It was right, definitely, to call Thémar the "healer".
The surgeons deliver repaired patients to him, certainly, but they are good as new when he finishes. And with what love...
The course record was also beaten by Jarousse.
At the finish, the was the following discussion between the two couriers of Paris-Soir
"You are not decent", howled Jarousse, "You knew I had caught cold, and you would have to wait for me"
"To be beaten! did you wait for me, last year, when I crashed? No, then..."
At lunch, however, peace was made and Jarousse and Legrand took their lap of honour on the Vel' d'Hiv', that afternoon, hand in the hand, forgetting their match of the morning, a beautiful November morning, cold and sunny.
Article scan courtesy of Aldo Ross.
It is in the middle of an incredible swarm of cyclists, motorcyclists and automobiies that Legrand has to complete, on his triporteur, the tour de Paris. But do not believe only the cyclists that you see here, close to the Porte Mallot, are the same ones as those who followed Legrand at the beginning, as many of them could not hold the astounding average speed of 33 km/h that the 1937 champion of the tris imposed on them.
Here is, after the effort, the enthusiastic and communicative joy of Legrand, winner of the annual Championnat des! Triporteurs.
For the triporteurrs also, speed is the agenda. Sunday morning, on the 39 km of the Tour de Paris, Lucien Legrand beat the race record by 3m 29s with an impressive average speed of 32.800 km/h.
it is really an astounding performance, if one considers that the racers had to lug around a machine carrying a weight of 80 kg. How many cyclists, on a light bike, would be just as happy to make this trip at an average speed of 33 km/h!...
- And to think, one of the organizers said to us after the finish, that we used to require a load of 65 kg, and that we raised the weight to 80 kg in order to slow them down!...
It is true that, now, the old road skirting the fortifications constitutes a splendid boulevard and that the many underpasses facilitate circulation considerably. In certain descents, the heavy machines, provided with derailleurs and duralumin rims, descended at more than 70 km/h, so much so that the cars had to follow sadly in their wake and that many followers on bicycles had to give up chasing the leaders.
The popular Marcel Cognasson, who was, for many years the uncontested king of the triporteurs, decided wisely to retire and, in his absence, the inseparable Legrand and Jarousse, which are otherwise excellent racers, and have also distinguished themselves in the Critérium des Porteurs de Journaux, were obligated to appear as hot favorites.
Last year, Jarousse had triumphed easily. But, this time, he was mildly sick and after having clung for a long time to the wheels of teammate, he had to let up on the long and difficult climb to porte des Lilas.
A special category had been created this year, very fortunately, for the competitors without racing licenses, in fact, the true working triporteurs. And one could thus take notice that the youth Gérard who finished third, only 8 minutes behind the winner, certainly had excellent qualities for a sport cyclist.
Article courtesy of The Horton Collection.
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