The third and final part of the series looking at the 1964 Tour de France is a look at what made it such a good Tour. If you’re in a hurry it came down to a contest between two riders and was close right until the end… but there’s more to it than that.
The Tour de France’s dates have been changed with the start pushed back two months, the plan is now to begin in Nice on Saturday 29 August and finish in Paris on Sunday 20 September. The route is unchanged. It’s just that, a date change. It buys time but all talk about the race still feels like it should be in the conditional given the public health crisis caused by Covid-19.
Part II of the series looking at the 1964 Tour de France is a stage-by-stage account of the race to show race unfolding from stage wins to accidents, punch-ups to punctures. There are the oddities of the time such as using cabbage leaves to protect against the heat, and the infamous incident of a fortune teller predicting Jacques Anquetil’s death mid-race.
The best Tour de France ever? Some say 1989, take your pick. During the 1989 Tour many knew it was an exceptional edition and reading and watching material from that year there were regular comparisons with 1964 held up as the vintage edition and reference point. With this in mind here’s a mini-series to take a look the 1964 Tour. Part I below looks at the year in general, the cycling season, the race’s route and format.
The blog has looked at the finances for Team Sky/Ineos and Ag2r La Mondiale for years now but there’s now a third team to add with Groupama-FDJ. They also publish their accounts and there’s plenty of detail, right down to how much their helmet sponsor paid in the year.
Sporza showed the 2015 Gent-Wevelgem last Sunday and it felt like a hard watch, why sit down for a couple of hours to see something old you know the result of? Well because there wasn’t much else to do and it was a lively edition…but it turned out to be a much better experience that expected. Once you know who wins you can watch and see how they win but there’s more.
Many of the sports channels you’re used to watching racing on are going to be replaying vintage editions instead of the planned live coverage. It’s not the same but here are a few suggestions to make watching repeats more interesting.
It’s become an annual tradition here to look at the finances of Team Sky/Ineos and Ag2r La Mondiale. Why? Because they’ve been the only teams to file accounts.
Team budgets matter but data are hard to come by. Some of the estimates doing the rounds in recent years are so dubious they’ve managed to get the numbers that have been audited and published wrong. Here’s a closer look at the published accounts and money behind the brown short brigade…
Gianni Mura has died aged 74. He was a legendary sports journalist in Italy and began covering the Tour de France at the age of 21 and was on the race last July too. Mura was sometimes portrayed as a curiosity in recent years for his use of a typewriter which made him look old-fashioned but there was a modern side too. He was one of the first in the pressroom to use a typewriter back in the days when journalists would write their piece in ink and then phone it through to the newspaper. He wrote his columns from the Tour de France last summer on a laptop.
There’ll be a light tailwind on the Poggio today. Even if the race is not happening it’s important in a small way to think of these places and the people there.
In the absence of the race if you want something to read about it, the history, the places around it and more here are a few pieces from the past…
“The loser” is a regular staple for comedy films, yet often celebrated in cycling as the lanterne rouge. Add on scenes from retro Belgium circa 1970, insert a comic actor with good timing and an elastic face and things get better.
This Belgian film dates from 2001 and is widely available, complete with English subtitles. If cycling films are rare, this is a gem.