Sunday, 19 June 2016

Monument dedicated to Eugene Cristophe at Ste Marie de Campan

Statue dedicated to Eugene Cristophe
Plaque dedicated to Eugene Cristophe
1906 was the first time that Tour de France climbed to Tourmalet and 1913 edition entered in history as the one in which the leader Eugène Cristophe, the (stage from Luchon to Bayonne, 326 km!), was escaped on the climb to the Tourmalet, with more than 5 minutes of advantage over pursuers. on the way down, after a crash, he had to walk for 14 kilometers (some sections on the road, and occasionally cutting off-road) to Santa Marie de Campan to find a blacksmith where to repair the broken fork to be able to continue. By that time, the organisation did not allow the mechanical assistance or replacement of components. The entire operation of slab fork was made under the supervision of Henry Desgrange, the director of the Tour de france, which came to punish him with 10 minutes by asking a boy who assist him to stoke the fire of the forge. Cristophe, all courage, did not give up and came to the end of the stage.

In the year 2003, in the edition of the centenary of the Tour, was a plaque to remember the events that took place in 1913. As the plaque says: "on the occasion of the centenary of the Tour de France, tribute is paid to Eugène Cristophe which during the 1913 Tour repaired the fork of his bike in this forge of Sainte Marie de Campan. Eugène Cristophe, leader, lost here any chance of victory, but gave a formidable lesson of courage and tenacity. The Tour de France recalls with respect this exemplary behavior. 21 July 2003 ".
The place where Cristophe fixed his fork
Lately (July 2014), Ste Marie de Campan has a statue dedicated to Eugene Cristophe. Worth a stop and a picture to show respect to one of the pioneers of modern cycling!