What happens when fake stories infiltrate cycling history?
They get repeated. And repeated. And repeated.
In this on-going series of occasional articles, the truth of some of these stories is revealed.
Stories of the Tour
Why do bike races have Queen Stages? What even is a Queen Stage? What are the real origins of the Circle of Death? And how did the 1949 Tour d’Algérie join the Monuments Club before Paris-Roubaix did?
Pretty much everything you think you know about Alphonse Steinès and how the Tour first came to visit the Pyrénées in 1910 is wrong, a story invented in the 1950s. The truth is an even more remarkable story.
What did Octave Lapize really say that day in the Pyrénées in 1910? And did he really say it on the Col d’Aubisque?
Stories of the Hour
Did Frederick Lindley Dodds, from Stockton-on-Tees, really set the first Hour record in 1876?
Why do we know so little about Mlle de Saint-Sauveur, first name unknown?
Why do so many books and articles claim that the last man to set an Hour record on a penny-farthing was Frederick John Osmond? And what do we know about the man who really holds that distinction, William A Rowe?
From 1933 to 1938 the American star of the Jazz Age played a role in the Tour’s grand départ and in doing so helped reshape the Tour for a new audience.
Was Henri Desgrange a racist? And what are we saying about Major Taylor if we believe he was?