With being a November month I decided to research some facts about the sport during WW1 and came to find out some interesting facts about the bike and his brave men during that time. Hundred years ago the first world war ended, millions had died, The Flanders and North France area was in ruins. Our beloved sport had come to a halt for 5 years, the Tour De France had his last edition in 2014. The day the Tour began, Franz Ferdinand, Archduke of Austria was assassinated in Sarajevo, marking the start of World War I. On 3 August Germany invaded Belgium and declared war on France, making this Tour the last for five years, until 1919. The three men who won the Tour between 1907 and 1910 would die in the war. The bicycle was a very important transport mode during the war mostly used for reconnaissance in advance of the troop and one of the most dangerous duties during this war. Among the casualties were 15 cyclists who competed in the 1914 Tour de France. Moreover, three men who had previously won the yellow. Lucien Petit-Breton, François Faber and Octave Lapize would not return home from the trenches. Britain’s first casualty of the war was a teenager cyclist John Parr, killed on 21 August, 1914, just days after the British Expeditionary Force arrived in France. The Belgians, Germans, British and French all employed the bicycle to varying degrees of success. The Italians, not surprisingly, were among those who most employed the bicycle. Known alternatively as the Suicide Battalion, the duties of the cyclists proved to be incredibly dangerous. These included gathering intelligence, laying and maintaining telephone wires, delivering messages, training border patrols, and acting as trench guides. Their ability to manoeuvre between battlefields and well ahead of a force meant they were ideal for gathering intelligence, performing surveillance and reconnaissance, and obtaining “battle-winning information” Thousands didn’t came back home 100 years ago..this cyclists lost their lives for us to live in freedom..I thought we should remember them to among the other brave men. Rest In Peace (photo’s courtesy of Bikerader.com)
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