Famous for breaking his forks in the '1913 Tourmalet incident’, known for being one of bicycle racings eternal seconds, Eugène Christophe is one of our heroes at Further, our ‘Spirit Racer’.
Eugène was the first to wear the Yellow Jersey in the Tour de France. When he won the 1910 Milan–San Remo, won by over an hour and one of only four finishers, he spent a month in hospital recovering from frostbite.
He was national cyclo-cross champion from 1909 to 1914, and then again in 1921. He more or less invented the sport.
Eugène seems far removed from the racers in the TdF today. To me, he is more like a modern racer, an Adventure Racer.
The early TdF has much common with our modern way of living and working and how we are starting to view the bicycle. The age of passive Television is over, we live in real time, social media, Instagram and Twitter. Cycling is going full circle.
Until 1930, the racer was responsible for his own repairs and outside assistance was prohibited. They were autonomous.
Eugène was not only a phenomenal athlete, his bicycle working skills were also very impressive. He would spend hours working on his bicycle. Not to tune and refine, but to practice the repairs.
How many racers today would be able to fix a pair of forks? There was nothing on a bicycle that Eugène could not fix.
Known as ‘Le Vieux Gallois’ for the mustache he often had which made him resemble an Old Gaul, an early resident of France.
Eugène Christophe raced with a 20 franc coin, a 10 franc coin, a chain link and a spoke key in a chamois bag hung round his neck. He was a racer of heroic distances, feats and wonders.
The dude was Further.