a giant of the road

Teammates & fellow Georges Speicher and Luduq climb in the Pyrenees

The Double

Today is the birthday of George Speicher, the first cyclist ever to complete the
Tour de France/World Championship double

Contested by National Teams, the 1933 Tour was started in Paris by
Josephine Baker. An early favourite, 13 times stage winner Charles Pelisier (younger brother of the more illustrious Henri and original super-domestique Francis), hit a car on stage three and was badly injured. He continued to the end of the day but came in over the time limit and retired, leaving Team Leader
Maurice Archambaud as Race Leader and favourite. On stage 8 Speicher was allowed to go for the win by a weakening Archambaud, and with the time bonus took over the lead by stage 12. Although he struggled on the mountain climbs, Speicher was a fearless descender and time after time rejoined the lead group on the descents. He won 3 stages on the road to Paris and came home over 4 minutes in front of two Italians, Learco Guerra and Giuseppe Martano

A windy day near Arles, Tour De France 1933

In the 1933 World Championship Road Race he beat Antonin Magnin (the 1934 Tour winner) to the win.
In 1936 Speicher became the National Champion of France and "won" the Classic Paris-Roubaix . The judges awarded the race to Team Alcyon rider Speicher after a contentious and close sprint with Begium's Romain Maes although photos subsequently proved that Maes had beaten him by half a wheel

Speicher and Alcyon Teammate Romain Gijssels ride in the 1936 Paris-Roubaix

George Speicher died in 1978, a Giant of The Road