The First Scandals
At the close of the scandal-plagued 1904 Tour, race founder Henri Desgrange said, "The Tour de France is finished and I'm afraid its second edition has been the last.” During the race, nine riders were disqualified for hopping trains or taking rides in cars and trucks, including the winner, Maurice Garin.
Photos from the new book Tour de France 100: A photographic History of the World's Greatest Race.
Heartbreak at the Tour
Rene Pottier won the 1906 Tour, but hanged himself just six months later at the end of a love affair. He was found with his medals and trophies neatly arranged at his feet.
The First Double Winner
After Maurice Garin was stripped of his second title in 1904, Petit-Breton became the first double champion of the race, winning in 1907 and 1908 on the powerful Peugot team. Like Octave Lapize and Francois Faber, the 1908 runner-up, Petit-Breton died in World War I, crashing into an oncoming vehicle near the front in December 1917.
In 1910, when Tour organizers announced the race route would tackle the Pyrenees, more than two dozen cyclists withdrew from the race. Stage 10 of the race included ascents of the Tourmalet and the Col d'Aubisque. At the top of the Aubisque, overall winner Octave Lapize shouted "Assassins!" as he rode by the race organizers.
A Corpse Wins
Riders await the start of the 1929 edition of the Tour. Maurice De Waele became the race's fifth Belgian winner, owing to his powerful Alcyon squad. The Tour organizer lamented that "my Tour has been won by a corpse," and subsequently banned professional teams in favor of national squads.
Nicknamed "The Monk," Antonin Magne would win the race in 1931 and 1934 before retiring to become one of the race's most formidable directeurs sportifis, or team directors.
Maurice Blomme pumps his tires before the start of stage 9 of the 1950 race. Three days later, he nearly lost the stage after sprinting for the wrong line. But an official put him back on his bike for the final meters, helping him to the stage win.
The First Superchampion
A young Jacques Anquetil, the Tour's first five-time winner, is pictured. He was just 23 when he won his first edition of the race. Like Hugo Koblet, who won a Tour and edition of the Giro d'Italia, he carried a comb in his pocket to keep his hair looking immaculate.
Enjoying a Smoke
Gastone Nencini, the 1960 winner, enjoys a cigarette. Through the 1950s and 1960s, smoking was not only commonplace, but cool in the peloton. Some riders continued smoking into the 1980s.
Blood and Tears
Joseph Thomin, the victim of a crash, fights to rejoin the peloton in 1963.
Tragic Tom Simpson
Collpasing near the summit of Mont Ventoux in 1967, Tom Simpson is given the kiss of life. It proves too late. He is declared dead in the hospital at 5 p.m.
The Eternal Second
Raymond Poulidor, the Tour's eternal second place finisher, leads the peloton on stage 11 of the 1968 race. Four days later, he was struck by a car and forced to withdraw. When the Tour attempted to introduce drug testing in the 1966 edition of the race, Poulidor was a vocal opponent of the move.
Next Up: The Tour's Most Colorful Characters