Saturday, November 19, 2011

The Locomotive

Léon Scieur ...
The Locomotive.
From the excellent book, Maillot Jaune 
by Jean Paul Olivier



There was a Belgian train moving fast in the 1921 Tour.

No one could catch him. His name was Léon Scieur.

Scieur was a close friend to compatriot, Firmin Lambot. He started racing at the age of twenty-two, and 11 years later started his 5th Tour de France. Scieur was a protégé of Lambot. and Lambot had introduced Scieur into professional cycling. What are friends for?

Both men were a by product of their land, they were former labourers from the tough Flemish Ardennes. The early twenties was the domain of the Belgian riders of the Tour: Lambot won in 1919/1922 and Philippe Thys in 1920.

The thirty-three year old Scieur was no different, as he held back challengers claiming the yellow jersey after the second stage and keeping it to win the race. French rider Honoré Barthélemy appropriate said, "When Scieur rides in his gear of 5.20 meters (gearing of 45 X 18), it's like having a locomotive in front of you!"

No stopping this train.



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